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Trinity Laban musicians feature in first disability-led ensemble to perform at BBC Proms

Wed 25 April 2018

A Trinity Laban student and a graduate are part of the first disability-led group to perform at the BBC Proms.

BSO Resound, a Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra ensemble, is led by conductor James Rose. He is currently enrolled on Trinity Laban’s advanced Independent Study Programme module in conducting with Head of Orchestral Studies Jonathan Tilbrook.

James, who has cerebral palsy, has trained as a conductor for four years and developed a unique conducting style using a head-baton. He told the BBC this week –

“There are barriers facing disabled musicians, and our performance at the Proms will show that inclusivity is possible within classical music. I hope that our BSO performance will inspire people, with or without a disability, to engage with music and open up more opportunities for diversity and accessibility in the arts sector.”

Conductor James Rose

BSO Resound’s percussionist Philip Howells graduated from Trinity Laban in 2015 with a BMus (Hons) in Orchestral Percussion & Timpani. While at Trinity Laban, he played with numerous orchestras and ensembles and was the winner of the Gladys Puttick Improvisation Competition, 2015.

BSO Resound’s Proms concert on 27 August will be aimed at children and adults with autism, sensory impairments and learning disabilities and will be signed throughout for those with hearing difficulties.

The ensemble are part of BSO’s ground-breaking Change Makers project, which launched in June 2017 and created a training programme for James as a conductor and artistic leader. Resound will be making their Proms debut just months after forming in February 2018. James is also leading the group in a series of public performances and workshops for disabled and non-disabled young people and adults at a number of schools and other venues.

In 2017 Trinity Laban announced a long-term partnership with BSO aimed at increasing professional development for young musicians across the South of England as well as increasing the diversity of the UK orchestral profession. Find out more here.

Booking for the BBC Proms opens on 12 May.

(Images: Main image- Philip Howells, credit: Kevin Clifford. Second image- James Rose, conductor)