DOHA: The British Paraorchestra, the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians, will perform for the first time in Qatar tomorrow at 7.30pm at Katara Opera House.
The award-winning 20-member orchestra will share the stage with Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at the ‘Souls in Harmony’ concert.
It is hosted by Sasol, the global integrated energy and chemical company, as part of its ongoing ‘Definitely Able’ initiative launched in 2012.
The initiative is the signature CSR campaign of Sasol in Qatar to highlight positive contribution and possibilities for people with disabilities, and focuses on what one can accomplish regardless of one’s disabilities.
Since its inception, the ‘initiative has been raising awareness, promoting public engagement and social acceptance of people with special needs.
“Sasol is excited to bring 20 talented members of British Paraorchestra to Qatar for the first time. The unique ensemble highlights the spirit of our ‘Definitely Able’ initiative by demonstrating the strength of people with disabilities and excellence they can achieve. The visionary leadership of Qatar prioritised well-being of all members of society in Qatar National Vision 2030. We hope our efforts will help contribute to the fulfilment of that goal by raising awareness and inspiring those with disabilities to achieve their dreams,” Marjo Louw, President, Sasol Qatar, told a press conference yesterday.
Founded by British conductor Charles Hazlewood in January 2012, the Paraorchestra became known internationally after its performance at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London with Coldplay.
“The Paraorchestra and I are much looking forward to our Qatar residency. It is an amazing opportunity to make new friends for the orchestra and its mission, which is to establish a new open-mindedness where virtuoso musicians with disability are no longer overlooked but welcomed into the mainstream. We are thrilled to be partnering with Sasol and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, a beautiful opportunity for one set of brilliant musicians to join hands with another,” said Hazelwood.
The Paraorchestra was recognized by the Prime Minister of the UK with a Big Society Award in 2013. Its musicians come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of musical styles and influences to the ensemble: from drum and bass to Baroque recorder; from lute to Indian sitar and tabla; percussion to clarinet; laptops, iPads and specially designed software to viola.
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