Paraorchestra Associate Music Director, Lloyd Coleman, introduces our twelve new musicians and what the recruitment means for Paraorchestra

A large part of my role as Associate Music Director is to be on the lookout for new musicians. It’s also one of the most rewarding and exciting parts – after all, the musicians and creatives we work with are the lifeblood of our organisation, and there’s nothing more satisfying than finding new talent and creating opportunities to showcase them.

In November last year we launched a public callout for professional-level musicians and composers who identify as D/deaf or disabled to join our family. It may have appeared odd for us to be advertising in the middle of a global pandemic especially as the core of our work is a live programme of events that had, like the rest of the events industry, been curtailed.

However, we recognise how far the orchestral sector still has to go to be fully inclusive and offer a talent pipeline for emerging disabled musicians. It is vital for us that we don’t rest on our laurels and that we keep growing the talent pool of musicians we work with.

Last November our callout invited eligible music-makers to apply with examples of their work. We received a staggering number of applications of a very high calibre. It was incredibly tough to narrow these down to the shortlist who then went on to meet with our Artistic Director, Charles Hazlewood, and I for an informal online audition.

You can imagine our delight when we went on to recruit twelve new musicians to join our family. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce our newest recruits, bringing a wealth of new talent and sounds to our ensemble:

Charlotte Bartley – clarinet
Liza Bec – recorders/composer
Lila Bhattacherjee – flute
James Hobbis – tuba/sousaphone
Rylan Gleave – composer/performer
Edd Leech – tuba
Calum Perrin – sound artist/performer
Vicky Richmond – oboe
Isaac Shieh – horn
Xia Leon Sloane – composer/creative writer
Tom Thorp – saxophone/composer
Oliver Vibrans – composer/drummer

“I’m thrilled beyond belief by the breadth, depth, and all-round brilliance of our latest cache of musicians, from sousaphone and recorder players to composers to sound artists, and on!

“We are richly blessed by these fiery new musical personalities, who will add so much to the Paraorchestra family, both sonically and socially.

“The fact that we had such an overwhelmingly large number of high-quality applicants – and have hired 12 of them – demonstrates that there are many top-level musicians out there, who identify as disabled. And I am very proud to announce that Paraorchestra now has nearly 40 virtuoso disabled musicians in its ranks!”
Charles Hazlewood

Alongside the callout we’ve been working on an array of exciting projects, which we’ll be announcing soon. I can’t wait to work and play alongside these amazing talents over the coming year.