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Project information

Sounds Unexpected

We will address a lack of familiarity and involvement in orchestral music evident in many of Wales’ communities, due to lack of opportunity to experience it. By running music-making workshops and concerts as a family activity in collaboration with employers, whole new audiences will be created.

December 2012 - November 2013

Charity information: The Welsh Sinfonia

The Welsh Sinfonia logo
  • Need


    Many children in Wales no longer have the opportunity to experience orchestral music live, and the whole tradition is becoming unfamiliar to a large part of the population. When something is unfamiliar it is often perceived as safer not to get involved. Musical talent may be missed, and families miss the potential for shared activity and enjoyment through live performances. The next generation of orchestral musicians and audiences is not being created.


    By collaborating with employers who are already supportive (Work and Play 2011/12) we will run practical sound workshops for employees and their families, making instruments out of whatever is to hand. Participants will then play these instruments in a short concert whose programme will also include a specially commissioned piece of music to introduce the ‘real’ instruments of the orchestra. Interest will be kindled, an appetite for orchestral music created, and the community enhanced.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To develop musical links already created with factories and their employees


    » Run a sound workshop and concert in each factory for employees’ families

    What success will look like

    Success will be full workshops and attendance at the concert by 20% more employees

    Aim 2

    To introduce as many family members as possible to making and listening to orchestral music


    » Create an inspiring programme which is backed by factory management and which prompts positive participation by both adults and children, together

    What success will look like

    Success will be participation in the workshops by up to 10 family groups (child/ren plus at least one related adult) and other family members coming to the concert

    Aim 3

    To give a concert of witty, fun, inspirational, varied and good orchestral music enjoyable by all


    » Commission a new piece for chamber orchestra from a leading and team it with other great music in an easy, fun programme suitable for all ages

    What success will look like

    Success will be achieving a piece which is enthusiastically received and understood, and for which repeat performances can be arranged in other venues

  • Impact


    The project will begin to integrate classical orchestral music into family life, while enabling the supporting factories to strengthen their own community links. It will kindle interest in the playing of musical instruments, and through familiarisation will begin to reverse the decline in audiences for classical music.

    We will demonstrate its success by monitoring interest shown in the project by other employers and the numbers of attendances at the factory workshops and concerts.


    There is a risk that we will fail to raise enough money to pay for the commission which will be an important part of the concert programme, and that the workshop fails to enthuse. We have dealt with the former by applying to other funding bodies and sponsors for additional support, and with the latter by employing workshop leaders with proven track records in planning, enthusing and delivering unusual projects for mixed aged participants.


    There will be regular reports of the progress of the project, including photos, posted on the Welsh Sinfonia website and donors will receive regular email newsletters which will include details of any changes to the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £28,760

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £12,560 concerts & workshops, music professional musicians fees
      £3,350 workshops & concerts Workshop staff and materials,music costs
      £10,000 new commission commissioning fee Roxanna Panufnik
      £2,850 admin travel, orchestral management, marketing

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Geldards Law Firm £1,500 Guaranteed
    Cheltenham Music Festival £1,000 Guaranteed
    The PR Works £500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We will deliver ‘Sounds Unexpected’ in collaboration with factories in Caerphilly, Llantrisant and Caerphilly where we have already developed relationships. They have good links with their local communities and support our efforts to engage them in music. Each factory is the major employer in an area otherwise economically stressed through the loss of other industry. The communities are seldom visited by professional classical ensembles and engagement in classical music is relatively rare.


    The main beneficiary will be the future of classical orchestral music, by its introduction to and familiarisation of new participants and audience in an engaging way; families through the opportunity of doing something new together; factory management through the enhancement of employee relations; and the wider community through seeing their friends take part in a professional performance and the opportunity of hearing an orchestral concert.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Welsh Sinfonia has a good track record of devising and successfully delivering educational music projects for children. It also has a reputation for devising innovative ways of bringing classical orchestral music to communities in unexpected ways and places to tackle the relative paucity of opportunity in many areas. We have managed large collaborative projects successfully, and have a good record for commissioning new work which is high quality, innovative and accessible.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Anne Curtis

    Anne has worked with business and the arts for over 30 years devising, fundraising, marketing and managing innovative outreach projects such as this

    Keith Ellerington

    The former Music Advisor to Caerphilly Borough Council, Keith is hugely experienced and is responsible for staffing and structuring the workshop

    Robin Stowell

    A professional solo and orchestra violinist and Leader of the orchestra, Robin’s role as motivator and musical interpreter are key to the project.

the orchestra comes to GE Aviation in Caerphilly

the orchestra comes to GE Aviation in Caerphilly


The cost of one musician for one workshop

“I’ve never been to a live orchestral performance before, I found it added a new dimension to the music. Many thanks to everyone for the experience.”

A new convert!