Our first High Sheriff invitation to a young people’s arts event was from the People’s Orchestra’s 3rd Birthday Performance at West Bromwich Town hall. An unexpected surprise was the Town Hall’s vaulted ceilings and illuminated organ which are testament to investment in civic pride.
Even more surprising – after the interval, the conductor John Brennan was replaced by a young orchestra member donning a pirate’s hat and cutlas (which he used as a baton), took to the stage to lead The Pirates of The Caribbean score.
It was an uplifting experience as a packed audience were entertained by high quality renditions of Movie classics from West Side story to Chariots of Fire; Gone With The Wind to The Blues Brothers.
The Multigenerational Midlands Orchestra also offers work experience to a team of volunteers behind the scenes. These are young people who gain skills in event management, training, administration, business as well increased confidence and self esteem that sets them well for job interviews, employment and self employment.
More info on the Peoples Orchestra website
Since leaving The People’s Orchestra, I went on to set up my own community interest company, MAIA Creatives, a creative agency sourcing work, training artists in business skills and providing exhibiting platforms.
Being a volunteer at TPO was an extremely valuable experience. I gained insight into how a small organisation runs and the effective systems required, routes to fundraising, filling in reports and grant forms and I saw first hand how a team of high quality volunteers can be a real asset. Perhaps most importantly, I discovered the type of leader I wanted to be, through working with and being supported by Sarah Marshall. Through her dedication, passion, kindness, hard work and never ending compassion, she has been a big inspiration ever since.
There are a number of videos on their ‘Watch and Listen’ section which are entertaining and well worth visiting as they have a penchant for flash mob performances including on the Virgin West Coast between the west midlands and London euston – C’mon Eileen.
The First prize for the raffle was a celebratory cake baked and designed by an orchestra member.
Embarrassingly the High Sheriff won the 2nd prize in the raffle – ticket no 151! Happy to say that Producer Sarah Marshall and the orchestra will enjoy the prize.
The next People’s Orchestra performance is Saturday the 4th of July in The Great Hall Birmingham University.
West Bromwich Town Hall