Nottingham Music Service Blog

Jul 26, 2018

Nottingham city saves the day for the Robin Hood Youth Orchestra

Three days before our Robin Hood Youth Orchestra’s residential to Liverpool, the coach company called to tell us the coach they had booked had broken down and they were unable to get a replacement – not really the best news just before a trip that your entire staff has been planning for six months!

As a charity devoted to changing young people’s lives through music, Nottingham Music Service is committed to its work and our participants’ happiness is paramount.

Despite all hands on deck and ears on phones, we couldn’t arrange alternative transport for our 63-strong Robin Hood Youth Orchestra (RHYO) and so the much awaited and meticulously planned three-day tour to Liverpool and Manchester had to be canceled last minute.

We didn’t have much time for tears though since now the task was to make sure our young people had something to do over the Friday and Saturday, July 13 & 14. As we Googled things to do in Nottinghamshire, rung up contacts and friends’ contacts, we managed to piece together a whirlwind itinerary for the weekend.

The best part about our two days of making music in and around Nottingham was how people and organisations across the city and region came together to help make things work. It was a heartwarming display of support and love for young people and music!

Rebecca Langton, from Nottingham City Council leader Jon Collin’s office, called to see how they could help and subsequently arranged a Nottingham City Transport bus exclusively for our use so that we wouldn’t have to rush in a panic to find seats on public transport for all 60+ members of the orchestra and staff! The bus took our wonderfully high-spirited RHYO to Southwell on the Friday where, after a rigorous walk in the fields, the orchestra performed in the beautiful Education Garden of the Southwell Minster.

We would also like to thank the Nottingham City Council (NCC) events team for letting us play at Trinity Square, the Nottingham Community Transport (CT4N) for arranging the electric buses for us on Saturday and wheeling us all the way to Newstead Abbey and back, Linda Abbott for inviting RHYO to play at the fantastic Bulwell Arts’ Festival at the Bulwell Academy (on such short notice too!), the NCC Museums and Galleries team for arranging a lovely performance in the gardens of Newstead Abbey, Shona Powell and Catherine Hocking from University of Nottingham for facilitating our wonderful performance and flash mob at the Lakeside park and Ben from Lakeside for the delicious packed lunches!

We would also like to thank RHYO and their family and friends who were very understanding about the cancelled trip and who overcame their disappointment to have a great time over the weekend! All the people we met over our different performances across the region were absolutely delightful and very supportive.

We didn’t make it to Liverpool, but Nottingham city and its people definitely lived up to their community spirit and made it a weekend we’re not going to forget!

Nottingham Music Hub