Over the last month the potential of musicians with disabilities has been in the spotlight as a result of collaborative activity with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. On 20 April several of our Digital Ensemble musicians took part in the Woodwind & Friends lunchtime concert performing ‘Old Pond’, a new piece composed with students on a short course ’The Drake Music Scotland Approach’ run by Oliver Searle, RCS lecturer and composer and our Artistic Director Pete Sparkes. On 7 May three of our musicians featured again in a lunchtime concert as part of PLUG, the Conservatoire’s festival of composition, in new works by student Aran Browning – ‘Gameshow Format’ – and Oliver Searle – ’Tiny Tarantella’.
Following on from the concert in April was a discussion event for musicians with disabilities and their supporters, with an opening presentation by Clarence Adoo and contributions from our Associate Musician Mary Bell, composer Sonia Allori and DMS Board Member George Low amongst others. Common themes arising from the discussion included the need for more public awareness of disabled musicians, more flexible training opportunities, the affirmative model of disability, and accessibility of venues.
“I really enjoyed the “Developing Potential” event last week. There were some really interesting streams of discussion”
“I found the presentations extremely constructive and positive”.
We will be working with the musicians and partners to take forward some of the ideas for development such as further traineeships for musicians with disabilities and activities to raise public awareness and visibility of disabled musicians.
Developing Potential is supported by Creative Scotland‘s YMI Strengthening Youth Music Fund
Drake Music Scotland’s performances at PLUG 2015 are supported by PRS for Music Foundation