Classically Yours, a partnership between Orchestras Live and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, has been shortlisted for the RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Music Award for Audiences and Engagement.
The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. The Audiences and Engagement category recognises outstanding initiatives by organisations or individuals who engage new and existing audiences with classical music.
Classically Yours set out to engage new audiences by addressing the inequalities of opportunity to access high quality live orchestral music in the East Riding of Yorkshire, transforming beliefs in isolated coastal and rural communities that culture happens elsewhere.
The programme was part of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's contribution to Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and formed part of a wider plan to engage more people in music across the county and secure significant new audiences for the future.
The partnership involved four orchestras – Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Viva, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia - three venues and the Music Education Hub and included eight concerts, three participatory projects and 46 workshops reaching over 2,000 people.
Manchester Camerata and Sinfonia Viva were embedded in two communities – Stamford Bridge and Withernsea - working with schools, choirs and care homes. Uniquely, they worked together as one combined orchestra to produce a large-scale community concert at Bridlington Spa attended by over 800 people.
Sarah Derbyshire, Chief Executive, Orchestras Live, said: "To be shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic S￼￼ociety Music Award is a great accolade and recognition of the ambition and commitment of all who have collaborated in Classically Yours. It's a testament to our vision at Orchestras Live - as an advocate for audience-focused engagement and sector change – that the programme has exceeded expectations and become part of the fabric of life in the East Riding in a remarkably short time."
Councillor Richard Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire Council portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and Culture, said: "This nomination is excellent news, and well deserved. Classically Yours has proved a superb feature of our council's contribution to Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and beyond, and has brought accessible classical music to all kinds of places, venues and audiences in the East Riding, including places where you would not expect classical music to be, and audiences who have not experienced it before."
Peter Helps, Chief Executive, Sinfonia Viva, said: "Partnership working achieves more, uses skills better and delivers stronger outcomes for everyone. All the orchestras involved in Classically Yours benefited from shared learning and mutual support. For us being able to work with communities over a long period of time and involving local people, not just as audience members but as genuine creative partners, has been one of the real bonuses of the project."
Bob Riley, Chief Executive, Manchester Camerata, said : "Working together to achieve more" is the school motto of Withernsea High School, part of the community where the Camerata team worked in Classically Yours. Local visionaries like headteacher Mark Crofts, June Mitchell of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and colleagues at Orchestras Live, live out that motto every day; particularly challenging in diverse and underserved communities. Projects like this are some of the most important work we do, inspiring us all to think differently about the social impact we can make, and how we might support and collaborate with other communities such as Withernsea in future."