Royal Philharmonic Orchestra relaxed performance at Sunderland Empire

Join the world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a fun-filled, relaxed concert for everyone, especially for families with children and young people with additional needs, on Sunday 26 March (3pm) at Sunderland Empire.

Featuring a 25-piece orchestra the concert will take the audience on a voyage of musical discovery, exploring the world of orchestral music through classical masterpieces alongside well-known TV and film themes. At the end of the concert there will be an opportunity to meet the musicians and even have a go at playing some instruments.

This special relaxed concert of Orchestras Live Sound Around with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is presented by local young people from mainstream and special needs settings, who have been working together in producing the performance.

The concert is primarily designed for visitors who may be concerned about attending an orchestral concert and may find visiting the theatre a daunting experience. This informal performance is designed to benefit visitors with additional needs, such as autism, ADHD, dementia, young children or anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment such as first time theatre visitors.

In this relaxed and welcoming environment, everyone can enjoy an orchestral concert by dancing, singing, joining in, moving about freely or simply listening to the amazing music from this world-class ensemble.

Hollie Coxon, Creative Learning Manager, Sunderland Empire said: “This is the first relaxed orchestral concert to be held at Sunderland Empire and is a fantastic opportunity for patrons to experience the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a relaxed setting. We have successfully held relaxed performances for pantomime over the years and this is a key addition to our offer.  We are committed to growing the range of relaxed theatrical events at the venue to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience buzz and excitement of live theatre and our recent nomination for the Autism Professionals Awards is evident of this”.

This concert has been specially designed to be suitable for people with additional needs.  House lights are normally left on low and there is no strobe lighting.  Audience members are free to go in and out as needed and late-comers rules will be relaxed. Making noise during the performance will not be discouraged. Additional staff members are on hand to assist as required, and quiet areas are provided for anyone who may become overwhelmed by the performance.

Stuart Bruce, Partnership Manager at Orchestras Live, hopes the flexibility and understanding atmosphere will enable everyone in the family to enjoy a concert together: “We have all worked hard to produce a concert that everyone can enjoy without judgment from others, and this is a wonderful opportunity for people to enjoy the inspirational experience of live orchestral music.”

Orchestras Live Sound Around is presented in association with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sunderland Empire Theatre and Sunderland Music Education Hub, and is supported by Strategic Touring Funds from Arts Council England.

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St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth formed part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, which was home to the author of the first history of England, the Venerable Bede.

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