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Open Up Orchestra for disabled children gets standing ovation at Tall Ships in Sunderland

Pupils from Bamburgh School, South Shields taking part in the Open Up event.
Pupils from Bamburgh School, South Shields taking part in the Open Up event.

Inspirational youngsters were given a standing ovation after taking to the stage to display their musical skills.

The Open Up Orchestra, which provides opportunities for disabled children in the North East, performed as part of the Tall Ships Races celebrations in Sunderland.

The Open Up event took place on the second day of the Tall Ships in Sunderland.

The Open Up event took place on the second day of the Tall Ships in Sunderland.

They showcased classical music with a modern twist, with some of the children using specially-adapted instruments and electronics.

The youngsters have been working on their music for the last two years and this was their latest milestone.

Read more: Live updates from day two of the Tall Ships Races in Sunderland

Open Up Orchestra music leader Lucie Davis said: "The orchestra gives children with additional needs access to music, which they may not have had otherwise.

A great performance!

A great performance!

"It's brilliant to see the way they enjoy it and have grown in confidence since the project started.

"We work with them in their schools, and started small but have slowly built it up.

"This performance was part of their journey.

"Our hope is that they will continue to grow in confidence and then they will hopefully be able to take part in activities with children from mainstream schools."

Pupils from Hill Top School, in Gateshead, Dryden School, in Gateshead, and Bamburgh School, in South Shields, each performed sets of about five minutes each.

Lucie added: "The children decide on the music and the direction the performance goes in.

"They tell me what they want to happen and I try to help them.

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"It's all about their creativity and it's fantastic to see them express themselves."