Throughout the course of the exciting new partnership, Ulster University and Ulster Orchestra will host a series of joint community, school and student-based workshops, outreach sessions, partnership events, concerts and a dedicated talks programme. There will be opportunities across the University’s campuses to listen to wonderful music, learn about your favourite composer or piece of music and to make your own music with the great talent within the Orchestra.
University Provost, Ulster University, Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan, said the partnership between Ulster University and the Ulster Orchestra was the perfect synergy:
“Ulster University’s new partnership with the Ulster Orchestra will bring the gift of music to so many new and existing stakeholders across all our campuses. The University is always looking to build new and meaningful relationships and we feel this partnership with our neighbours, Ulster Orchestra, is a natural fit.
We share a joint mission to enrich and add value to the lives of people living in Northern Ireland and through this partnership we look forward to giving members of our wider community the opportunity to access orchestral music as never before, by providing innovative opportunities for students and members of the community alike to work alongside a world-class orchestra and develop real-world industry experience. Hopefully creating an appreciation of and love for orchestral music.”
As Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra has made a significant cultural, economic and social contribution to Belfast and Northern Ireland for more than 50 years by providing different ways to engage in excellent and unforgettable concerts and shared music experiences.
Having recently relocated to Townsend Street Church which sits directly beside the Peace Line, Auveen Sands, Chief Executive, Ulster Orchestra comments;
“Our vision for 32 Townsend Street is to create a flexible space that removes barriers to music for all by establishing a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra and providing an accessible space for rehearsal, recording, performance and learning and community engagement activities. One of the many benefits of moving to Townsend Street is bringing us closer to neighbours such as the Ulster University.
Our new partnership with the Ulster University provides exciting opportunities to collaborate on accessibility to live music for local communities not just in Belfast but in other regional locations such as Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry where both the Ulster Orchestra regularly performs and the Ulster University has campuses. Through this partnership, we see an alignment of culture and values with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion providing the Ulster University, the Ulster Orchestra and students with opportunities to work together on exciting projects within music, digital, marketing and technical production providing operational and research potential.”
At the festive concert, which took place in the iconic Biden Atrium, concertgoers were treated to a festive repertoire by members of The Ulster Orchestra including some traditional Christmas Carols and popular holiday classics such as Let it Go and Jingle Bell Rock.
Santa Claus himself stopped by with a sack full of surprises for younger audience members. Invitees included families from the local community, schools, businesses, Ulster University staff and students. It's was the perfect opportunity for the University and Orchestra families to come together, with neighbours, students, staff and their little ones, to share in the joy of the season.
“Christmas is a time for joy, celebration and coming together. We looked forward to welcoming members of the wider North Belfast community and their families here on Friday to officially launch this new partnership and enjoy a festive feast of entertainment with all the trimmings. With its high ceiling and open architecture, the Biden Atrium is the perfect acoustic venue”, continued Professor Gormley-Heenan.