South-West Open Youth Orchestra

The South-West Open Youth Orchestra (SWOYO) is the UK’s only disabled-led regional youth orchestra. Delivered by OpenUp Music in partnership with a range of regional and national organisations including Bristol Plays Music, the project provides auditions, rehearsals and performance opportunities for up to 12 young disabled musicians (aged 11-25) in fully accessible venues across the South-West. It is also recruiting a small number of young non-disabled musicians, realising a vision of a truly inclusive ensemble. OpenUp Music intend to maintain and extend the project, working to establish to National Open Youth Orchestra (the worlds first disabled-led national youth orchestra) by 2018.

The 10 minute BBC documentary above follows the musical journey of one of their young musicians Bradley Warwick. Bradley joined the South-West Open Youth Orchestra in September 2015 and plays a very special musical instrument that OpenUp Music have created for him – an instrument he can play with his eyes!

Delivered in partnership with musicians from the internationally renowned British Paraorchestra, it is currently searching for more young musicians to join this pioneering group. If you know any young musicians who have a passion for music making and want to show the world what they can do, then please get in touch with OpenUp Music.

Partner Organisations