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“It was off the scale, Open Orchestras exceeded anything that our young people have ever had the opportunity to achieve.” Fiona Richings, Head Teacher, Baytree School, Weston-super-Mare

Open Orchestras was created in 2013 to address a lack of ensemble musical provision in Special schools. Originally piloted at six schools in the South-West during 2013-15, Open Orchestras has been carefully developed through participatory design with young disabled musicians, teachers and music leaders. It’s an award-winning, game-changing programme that provides everything needed – instruments, repertoire and training, to empower Music Hubs, arts organisations and Special schools across the UK to set up and run their own orchestra sustainably, just like mainstreams schools do. Open Orchestras is available by annual subscription.


Open Orchestras is brought to you by Open Up Music, a charity dedicated to empowering young disabled people to build inclusive orchestras. In 2018, we launched the National Open Youth Orchestra.  

  • Barry Farrimond MBE


    Chief Executive

    Barry has over 10 year’s experience developing, strengthening and leading social enterprise and third-sector arts organisations and is respected as an authority on accessible music technology.

  • Doug Bott

    Doug Bott

    Musical Director

    Doug has specialised in accessible music making for disabled people since 2000 and has extensive experience as a music leader, arts manager, consultant and trainer for a range of organisations.

  • Jonathan Westrup

    Jonathan Westrup

    Education Manager

    Jonathan has over 13 years experience working with disabled young people in music education. He has played a key role in developing accessible accreditation opportunities in music and worked extensively as a trainer and mentor for musicians and teachers in school settings.

  • Helen Stevens

    Helen Stevens

    Operations Manager

    Helen has worked in the not-for-profit and public sector since 2004, working across fundraising, event management, volunteer management and operations for some of the UK’s leading education and health charities.

  • Julia Le

    Julia Le

    Marketing & Communications Manager

    Julia has worked on developing brands for over 15 years, both big household names and start-ups.  Her experience spans a variety of sectors, from consumer products to finance through to social enterprise. She has worked in France, the UK, and New Zealand.

Our Funders

Open Orchestras is offered as a subscription service to Music Education Hubs, arts organisations and schools. We also subsidise the overall cost of the Open Orchestras programme to us, through donations, sponsorship and grant funding. This keeps the subscription fee as low as possible, ensuring affordability and sustainability for subscribers, which enables more young people to benefit from this transformational programme every year.

To find out more about how you can support Open Orchestras, please contact [email protected] or call  07504008529.

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Open Orchestras is brought to you by OpenUp Music, a charity that empowers young disabled musicians to build inclusive youth orchestras. Our programmes have received a range of prestigious awards…