Funding withdrawal is threat to future of Coventry and Warwickshire Youth Orchestra

Brian Chappell conducting the Coventry & Warwickshire Youth Orchestra at Warwick Arts Centre, May 2018. Photo by Kirsten Pearce.
Brian Chappell conducting the Coventry & Warwickshire Youth Orchestra at Warwick Arts Centre, May 2018. Photo by Kirsten Pearce.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Music Hubs have decided to withdraw funding from the highly regarded Coventry and Warwickshire Youth Orchestra at the end of this academic year.

The symphony orchestra is for talented children and young people across Coventry and Warwickshire.

It is a registered charity run by trustees with some financial support from the music hubs.

The decision to withdraw funding calls into question the future of the orchestra which is due to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2021 when Coventry becomes City of Culture.

It will not make this anniversary unless it finds further funding.

Paul Leddington Wright, conductor of Coventry Cathedral Chorus, said: “As someone who has worked with and seen the orchestra in action since the 1970s I am saddened to learn of the decision to withdraw funding for the youth orchestra.

“The orchestra provides a wonderful opportunity for talented young musicians and is vital to the cultural life of Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Due to the national trend of cuts in music education over many years, the orchestra has struggled to recruit sufficient players to maintain a full symphony orchestra.

It has been supported by former members and students from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire but is now looking to recruit new players.

With the addition of new players of all orchestral instruments there is realistic potential to sustain and further develop the youth orchestra.

Players at Grade 5 and above and who live in Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull and the surrounding areas can join.

For more information visit www.cwyo.org or email cwyorch@gmail.com to attend a rehearsal without obligation.

To support the orchestra directly through sponsorship, or with media and marketing, use the email address.

For more information visit www.cwyo.org or email cwyorch@gmail.com