NOFA at Teach First Run the River

Tuesday 15 September 2015 - London Bridge

Eight of our NOFA members joined our amazing percussion tutors Chris and Ali for an evening of samba percussion to cheer on 3000 runners taking part in Teach First Run the River. Check out our Youtube channel to see them in action!

Summer Course 2015

26-29 July 2015 - University of Leeds and First Direct Arena, Leeds

NOFA's Fifth Annual Summer Course was bigger than ever before, with four days of intensive rehearsals culminating in a spectacular performance to NOFA's biggest ever audience - 3000 people at the First Direct Arena in Leeds (on the biggest stage they'd ever built!).


Symphony No. 5 (movement 1) – Ludwig van Beethoven, arr. Danyal Dhondy

Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (movement 1) – Antonin Dvorak, arr. Richard Turner

Toccata and Fugue in D minor – Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. Simon Tong

In Touch – world première – Danyal Dhondy, soloist Alexandra Dariescu - commissioned by the Leeds International Piano Competition

Where Music Meets – world première – Nathan Theodoulou and Where Music Meets Collective


The performance marked the opening concert in NOFA’s 2015-2016 Music in a Modern World season. And what better place to kick our season off than in an Arena more often associated with rock and pop artists?


Throughout Music in a Modern World we will be exploring what music means for our young orchestral players in the early 21st century. How do they hear music? How do they perform and consume it? How do they make it? What drives their interest? What can they teach us about music as an accumulation of personal experience, not just through learning a musical instrument but across cultures, genres and democratising technologies like smart phones apps and video games? At NOFA, we are constantly exploring these questions in the context of artistic as well as practical access to orchestral music for young people, particularly those from challenging backgrounds. In this season, however, we are particularly focusing on what defines musical experience for them in a digital age.

Modulo National Meet

Thursday 2 July 2015 - Alexandra Palace, London

All of our Modulos descended on London for a full day of rehearsals culminating in a massed performance of the specially composed Modulo music, based on Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet. To see how they got on, view the performance at the end of the day on our Youtube channel.

OFA Conductors for Change - Session 3

Friday 5 June - Highbury Grove School

The ten Teach First music participants from London came together for their final session of OFA Conductors for Change of the year, this time focusing on choral conducting and led by the wonderful Esther Jones from the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. To find out how you can take part in Conductors for Change in 2015-16, visit the CFC page.

NOFA at the MiSST Inaugural Concert

Monday 11 May - Barbican Centre

National Orchestra for All members were invited to join the Music in Secondary Schools Trust for their Inaugural Concert at the Barbican on Monday 11 May, featuring guest soloist, violinist Nicola Benedetti.

Where Music Meets Workshop Weekend

28-29 March 2015 - London

The first stage of the Where Music Meets project saw 25 young musicians from five organisations come together for two days of jazz improvisation on themes and ideas from Beethoven's 5th Symphony, along with sessions in the recording studio.


We were thrilled to have the amazing Issie Barratt from the National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC) lead the session on Saturday, sharing new ideas and performing together at the end of the day. Classically-trained musicians from NOFA, the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and Kuumba Youth Music shared the stage with jazzists from NYJC and rappers and a singer from the East London Arts and Music Academy (ELAM). On Sunday we travelled to ELAM to record the ideas developed during the previous day, and prepared for the next stage of the project - where each of the participants will access the recorded tracks online and put their own personal stamp on them using composition and mixing software. NOFA composer-in-residence Nathan Theodoulou will then create a final piece - 'Where Music Meets' - from these contributions, which will be premiered at the NOFA Summer Course concert in Leeds on 29 July 2015.


Modulo Regional Meets

14 and 16 March 2015

Following weeks of rehearsal of the specially arranged Modulo Music, schools from across London and the West Midlands joined together for the first time to perform as symphony orchestras at Modulo Meets at the East London Arts and Music Academy (ELAM) in Stratford on 14 March and at Birmingham Town Hall on 16 March. The result was two days of fantastic rehearsals, some improvisation and body percussion workshops and two brilliant performances of an arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet. Next stop - national meet in the summer, when all Modulo schools from across the country come together for the first time in London.

Workshop with Academy of St Martin in the Fields

16 February 2015

A team of six professional musicians from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields spent an afternoon rehearsing an arrangement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony with some of our NOFA players. The workshop was aimed at introducing new skills as the players tried working without a conductor, as well as giving them an insight into how a professional orchestra rehearsal is run.

OFA Musical Chairs

25 January 2015 - Highbury Grove School

For one day only, OFA gave supporters the chance to join with OFA members to experience what playing in a Symphony Orchestra was really like. 40 adults signed up, many playing an instrument for the first time, and were welcomed on the day by around 50 OFA members for rehearsals of two OFA classics, Sibelius' Finlandia and Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King. Compered by the wonderful Richard Stilgoe, the concert at the end of the day was a resounding success, and was followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea, with sandwiches from our favourite local artistan cafe, the New London Cafe, and an array of delicious cakes donated by the wonderful Konditor & Cook. A huge congratulations to everyone who took part and all those who attended - we raised over £25,000 from the event, all of which will go towards funding the on-going work of OFA. Thanks to the wonderful Nathan Theodoulou for his excellent film-making skills!

Modulo Programme Launch

9 January 2015

Teachers, supporters and students descended on the Teach First Head Office at London Bridge for the launch of the Modulo Programme. Students from two of the 2013-14 pilot schools kicked off the evening with a performance of Winter Groove, followed by a talk by Anna Williams and Danyal Dhondy on the how the Programme will work and what resources will be on offer. Visit the Modulo page for more details and contact Anna Williams to find out how to get involved.

Orchestras for All

Cecil Sharp House

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London NW1 7AY


T: 0207 267 4141

Orchestras for All is registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales

Charity Registration Number 1150438