Lucy Geddes, Manchester Camerata
Glastonbury openers and UK Ensemble of the Year (RPS Music Awards 2017)– Manchester Camerata is redefining what an orchestra can do. Famous for innovation, we pop up in all sorts of places and collaborate with a spectrum of artists, from classical superstars like Martha Argerich to iconic band, New Order. We opened the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury last year with our collaboration with the Hacienda DJs. Our Music Director and conductor, Gábor Takács-Nagy, is one of the finest musicians on the planet, and a magnet for international artists.
Our Camerata in the Community programme began over 20 years ago and aims to use music as a tool to improve people’s lives. The programme is split into two strands: ‘Schools’ and ‘Health & Wellbeing’ and is delivered by musicians from the orchestra as well as composers, music therapists, theatre makers, vocalists and producers. Our ethos is to enable both young and older people to create new music on every project and to take ownership over their creative decisions. This process takes many different forms, including improvised music-making for people living with dementia and structured compositions with young people in schools.
Research and evaluation is a central part of our work, with studies being conducted in partnership with the University of Manchester and independent researchers. PhD student Robyn Dowlen conducted a joint research project with the University of Manchester to measure the ‘in the moment’ embodied experiences of people living with dementia when taking part in our Music in Mind project. We collaborate with a range of organisations and receive funding from sources including NHS Foundation Trusts, local authorities, Music Education Hubs, schools, arts organisations and housing groups.