Ten talented Midlands musicians will receive help to fulfil their musical ambitions thanks to a £3,000 donation from regional building society the West Brom.
The money will fund bursaries with The People’s Orchestra, a music charity performing popular classics and film scores across Sandwell, the Black Country and wider West Midlands.
Set up in 2012, the orchestra offers a platform for experienced players who are keen to perform but unable to make a full-time commitment or are without the funds to do so. It has around 70 members, aged 15 to 71, with ambitions to increase the membership number to 100.
James Wright, Director of Sales and Marketing at the West Brom, said: “Access to the arts is very important in this region, not just through being able to see it but also by taking part and creating content for others to experience.
“We are delighted our donation is funding ten bursaries of £300 each that will enable The People’s Orchestra to loan out instruments and give players an opportunity to develop and express their considerable talents.”
The West Brom’s donation has been made through the Mercian Community Trust, a partnership between the Society and the Diocese of Lichfield to support community groups and charitable causes in the region.
Sarah Marshall, founder and Managing Director of The People’s Orchestra, said: “Without support from people and organisations such as the West Brom we would not be able to achieve even half of the amazing things we do every year.
“This donation will go a long way, directly paying for bursaries for musicians who would otherwise be unable to participate in our orchestra.”
The People’s Orchestra aims to make orchestral music more accessible to local communities, taking away the ‘pomp and ceremony’ and focusing on recognisable pieces such as film, television and video game scores.
Based in West Bromwich and a regular performer at the town hall, it also encourages members to undertake volunteering work, thereby gaining experiences that will help them towards employment.