Young Disabled Musicians Open Up Music Needs You!

The South West Open Youth Orchestra – a pioneering new regional ensemble providing a unique progression route for young disabled musicians.

OpenUp Music are searching for young disabled musicians to join the pioneering South West Open Youth Orchestra. This is a radical new regional orchestra, led by young disabled musicians who want to progress to the next level.


  • Any instrument considered, including music technology
  • The potential to play music with passion and perseverance
  • You don’t need grade exams or to have played in an orchestra before
  • For young disabled people age 11 – 25 (non-disabled young musicians to be auditioned later to make this an inclusive ensemble)

What will it involve?

  • Regular rehearsals in different locations around the South West, Autumn 2015 onwards
  • The opportunity to co-design your own bespoke musical instrument to take home and practice on
  • A residential rehearsal at Star College Cheltenham early April 2016
  • High profile public performances from April 2016 onwards

They urgently need more young disabled musicians to be signposted to them to get the numbers up to at least 12 young people. The next audition takes place at Plymouth Music Zone on 28th November and they can also travel to see other young people who may wish to audition in other parts of the region.

“ANY young disabled musician in SW UK should seriously go for this. It is AWESOME” – Charles Hazlewood, British Paraorchestra.

If you’re interested, know someone else who might be, or even know someone who might know someone else who might be, please email Open Up Music for more info!


‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ Interactive Exhibition at the Great Bow Wharf

‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ – SPAEDA’s off the Wall Interactive Exhibition!

Release your inner child and draw all over the walls of our Big Draw interactive exhibition, it’s taking place at the Great Bow Wharf in Langport this October. We have covered the walls with plain wall paper and are encouraging everyone to grab a pencil and draw a story on the wall. Don’t worry this time you won’t get in trouble! We want the stories to reflect a change in you, your life or your surroundings. This could be something like finally growing that moustache you’ve always wanted or going up Glastonbury Tor with your pen pal Francois. Let your imagination run away with you, the possibilities are endless, reach for the stars (when I say stars I mean pencils) … and any other encouraging clichés you can think of.

This exhibition ties in with Jethro Brice and Seila Fernandez Arconada’s ‘Some:when’ exhibition which is also held at the Great Bow Wharf for Somerset Art weeks. Their project revolved around the creation of a Somerset flatner, a traditional local boat used on the levels. The Great Bow Wharf will showcase the boat itself along with artwork made by children and young people in 2014 – 2015. There will also be an exhibition of photography from Gideon Mendel in the Kitchen at the Wharf. Gideon’s exhibition “Drowning World” focuses on the Somerset and Thames Valley floods of winter 2013-14; the images show landscapes vanishing under water and portraits of local residents.

We are number 24 in Somerset Art Weeks as well as being part of The Big Draw 2015. The Campaign for Drawing’s annual festival The Big Draw, takes place each year in over 20 countries around the world, with 1000+ events taking place over October. This year’s Big Draw theme is “Every Drawing Tells a Story”. Somerset Art Weeks is an annual countywide celebration of the variety and quality of contemporary visual art that can be found in Somerset, this year’s theme is ‘Momentum’.

Somerset Art Weeks 2015BIGDRAWBLACK

Spaeda Exhibition at the Great Bow Wharf

Come visit the Great Bow Wharf, the wonderful Kitchen at the Wharf and see our new exhibition. We have works from Fiona Godfrey, Sara Dudman, Arran Willcocks, Alice Crane, Lizzie Induni and Janey Rieveley. The exhibition will be up until the end of September, so don’t miss your chance to see the amazing work.

Image 6 SD,AC,JR image 7 AC close upImage 4 FG, LI Image 5 SD, LI, FG

About the artists and their work:

Alice Crane
Alice uses unusual domestic and recycled materials to create her pieces. A degree in Fine Art Textiles (graduated Goldsmith’s London in 1993) has fuelled Alice’s love of combining stitch and paint. Alice is passionate about passing on creative skills to children and young people and gained over 10 years’ experience as a participatory artist, delivering workshops and projects for early years, schools, community and adult learning, before joining the SPAEDA as Artistic Director in 2001.
Sara Dudman
Sara is a full-time practicing artist, educator and curator, working predominantly in painting and drawing, often incorporating video as a source. Her work focuses on human interactions and interventions in the landscape and its associated culture, history and husbandry. She practices individually and also works in collaboration with Debbie Locke, exploring the synergy between intuitive and digital mark-making as well as the processes which challenge mechanical and expressive approaches to contemporary art.
Arran Willcocks
Arran has been working as a Course Manager in art and design at post 16 level for 27 years. During this period she has been involved with many new initiatives with art and design, including The Wessex Scheme, forging links with Europe, running residential visits and establishing a significant pattern of connections with regional and national museums and galleries for education purposes. Reflecting on a long held interest on the nature, sources and applications of light well as its absence, Arran has butted together 3 pairs of images to create a new dialogue between the observed and the remembered.
Jane Rieveley
Jane’s work mainly consists of abstract imagery and texture, in the medium of printmaking; lithography, etching, collagraph and screen print. Jane became passionate about the process and technique behind different printmaking methods after study Fine Art Printmaking at Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2013. She has a particular interest in lithography, with her most recent influence being David Lynch, the film director, and his selection of prints. His art work has a dark humour to it that Jane finds exciting and original, almost like dreams he jotted down.
Lizzie Induni
Lizzie makes her own paint, using calcium hydroxide (lime) and pigments, which she uses to create images of the landscape. She studied painting and photography at Dartington College if Arts. Lizzie is extremely interested in making art from raw materials found in the environment, combining this with an understanding of traditional building materials and techniques to make her paintings. Lizzie has worked as a professional illustrator and a teacher, and now runs art workshops in schools.
Fiona Godfrey
Fiona is one of SPAEDA’s Associate Consultants and runs training for teachers on the visual arts and creativity in primary schools. Fiona is interested in capturing the subtleties of posture, body language, personality and the dynamics of different relationships. Alongside Fiona’s work in education, she is a qualified psychotherapist with a small private practice.

In February 2015, Fiona went on sabbatical, living for four months on the Isle of Ulva on the West Coast of Scotland; writing and painting. Kitchen Window is taken from a much longer series of small colour studies capturing the changing light and weather conditions seen from the cottage. Over several weeks Fiona used the making of these studies as a form of meditation practice.


Explore the art of making and recording chilling sound effects at this FREE workshop! With Richard Tomlinson and Michael Fairfax.

We need scary and noisy young people to create spine tingling sounds using everyday objects.

A hands-on workshop to get creative with sound, for ages 8 – 18
Sunday 6th September
as part of the 10 Parishes Street Market Activities in Wiveliscombe
11am – 12noon & 1pm – 2pm

For more info and to book your place contact:

The sounds we create will feature, an online archive of brilliant radio content produced by children from the 10 Parishes and the Tone Valley Partnership.

10 parishes

Count Me In’s AllStars Music Project is Set to Start in September

The Count Me In team – Russ, Jane, Alex, Geoff and Ben – are getting ready for their latest exciting inclusive music project. After some lovely summer taster sessions, they’re officially starting the AllStars Music Project on September 17th.

Their organisation, Count Me In, has been working with music since 2002. They founded their popular Heart Beats sessions in 2012.


Count Me In bring people together who want to make friends, get skills, and play music, lots of these people have learning disabilities. They like to work with improvised sound and real instruments, music is a great way to make friends, get confidence, and express yourself.

AllStars is funded by Youth Music and is part of their programme for a musically inclusive England.
Count Me In will be bringing more music to Somerset, especially to young people with learning disabilities and those interested in a career in this sector.

Count Me In Heartbeats

Count Me In are partnered with Elmwood and Penrose federation in Bridgwater, Wells Cathedral School, Spaeda, and the Somerset Rural Youth Project. All will be helping them reach more people and bring larger integrated groups together, to learn from one another.

They’ve got quite a lot going on over the next two years, this includes:

  • Run the Heart Beats sessions – a Thursday evening music group in Wells, twice a month.
  • Run the Listening Lounge – monthly mentoring sessions for small groups of young people.
  • Offer Arts Award training to people with learning disabilities.
  • Work in schools with mixed groups – integrated learning
  • Get out and about – AllStars on the road.
  • Offer training to teachers, professionals and young musicians.
  • Run an AllStars festival in 2017.
  • Offer buddying opportunities for older people with learning disabilities who love music.
  • Offer trainee placements for young musicians wanting a career in music.

For more information on how you can be involved visit their website.

Check out their YouTube video.

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