Tuesday 22nd May 2012 was a very exciting day for 6 students from Claremont Secondary School in Bristol. They were to perform live on the stage in Millennium Square in Bristol for the Olympic Flame Celebration!!
These students all have some degree of physical difficulty and have been studying for a BTEC in performing Arts by using Accessible Music Adaptations provided by Drake Music. They had been practicing for many weeks after composing their own music. This is no mean feat and involves many forms of technical support for both the students and their helpers.
A fleet of adapted minibuses brought the students from school to the venue on a hot and sunny afternoon. Obstacles had to be negotiated for the students to get inside the @Bristol building which was to be their first base. They were given their passes and a kind gift of Olympic Flame tee shirts was gratefully accepted. After meeting the Mayor it was time to get ready to go on stage. The ramp was very steep and assistance was needed to push the heavy wheelchairs up the slope. Looking out over a sea of faces did not phase these musicians and they completed their ‘set’ with the aplomb of the accomplished performers that they are.
The crowd went wild when Callum hit the strings of his electric guitar, they called back the response ‘Is equality’ when Sophie began her refrain, and clapped and encouraged Terri, Ian, Sait and Joe when they made their contributions to the performance. One look at the beaming faces of the students was enough to be able to tell how they were feeling about the afternoon. A triumph for Claremont Students and Drake Music!!