I’ve wanted to write about this joyous project all week, but I couldn’t quite focus all the splashes of colour, fragments of sound and radiant smiles into words until now. 

I’ve been remembering the faces of the children gathered at the start transforming from dull disinterest to irrepressible glee.  The excitement of the young couple I’d met at the local market earlier in the month who’d come out of curiosity and left beaming. The metamorphosis of musicians not used to walking while playing, let alone dancing, into a mighty column of sound and movement.

Watch out, sousaphones about

I’ve been remembering Cathy, my impossibly glamorous fellow recorder player of over forty years, who was very nearly as astonished to be playing in an orchestra as I was. I’ve been remembering the moment I unexpectedly locked eyes with a dear old friend in rehearsal, the very person who brought music back into my life after my epilepsy diagnosis.

Cathy rocking the recorder!

I’ve also been remembering how I very nearly didn’t audition for Paraorchestra at all, because the word ‘orchestra’ was so irrevocably linked to tearful memories, memories of desperately trying to force my twitching hands to play pieces which my brain couldn’t process. It turns out that the best antidote to trauma is…. fun!

This experience has left me completely in awe of all at Paraorchestra who made such an astonishing event possible. There are too many wonderful people to name so I won’t try. I’m so grateful for all of you and that this magic exists in the world.  

PS Paraorchestra are playing again in Bristol this Friday the 1st October so if you’re in the area it is definitely worth grabbing a ticket here (if they haven’t all gone!) 

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