Here’s our paraorchestra. Where’s yours?

Posted by: Nicholas Brooke
on October 11th, 2012 No Comments

When the glory and bliss of your dreams are being manifested into your reality it almost feels unbelievable, doesn’t it? It is the case for Charles Hazlewood and his British Paraorchestra.

ParaorchestraMany of us , in fact hundreds of millions of people around the world watched the closing ceremony of the Paralympics2012 in London earlier this fall. The climax of the ceremony saw a newly formed orchestra of 17 disabled musicians playing along Coldplay and Rihanna. The moment touched the global community undoubtedly, but for the few of us who witnessed the full journey of it, it was even more inspiring..

The story goes back one year, when Charles Hazlewood brought 4 musicians with disabilities to perform for the first time in front of a public, at TEDxBrussels2011. The group beautifully improvised and interpreted the traditional British tune – “Green sleeves” and left the audience speechless. That was the moment when we all got to hear their daring vision: “Every country should have a paraorchestra of all shapes and all sizes. No question about that. So here is our paraorchestra. Where’s yours?”.

“We are at the starting gate with our project”, our guest speaker continues. “We need your help. We need the global community to help us live this dream so that this orchestra could be full steam ahead by summer 2012”.

When talking about the Paralympics one year ago, he would say: “When Paralympics come to London next year, there will not be an intelligent person anywhere on the planet who does not absolutely believe in the validity of the disabled sports people. What an amazing position to be in”.

 One year later, not only did he achieve his dream, but the results were beyond all our expectations. Sharing the same stage with the worldwide known and acclaimed artists such as Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z, seemed to have been just the first piece of the cake. There is now talk of a European tour and possible studio recordings, not to mention the queue of disabled musicians waiting to be assessed  for inclusion in the paraorchestra.


The inspiration for the paraorchestra is a deeply personal one too. Being especially close to this topic, I can not resonate more with the idea of having such platforms for people to express their visions and engage the communities so that they can make their voice heard. It’s great to see that TEDxBrussels embarked on this mission, standing for a platform where dreams and visions that are shared here turn into reality.

I invite you to join me at the 2012 edition of TEDxBrussels to discover more such inspiring ideas and extraordinary people that walk the talk..

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