First published in British Deaf News October 2015 – Questions & Answers
It was a honour to be invited to perform on my flute at the ‘World Music Day’ in Budapest, Hungary and also to meet 15 talented young musicians and staff involved in the concert in their music project entitled “Tuned to Each Other”.
The concert was held on the 1st October 2015 in the evening at the grand setting of the Nador Terem Palatine Hall, which showcased a typically Hungarian Art Nouveau interior with a touch of “Viennese style” to it. The heavy chandeliers filled the room with a soft warm glow providing us with the perfect setting for the event.
Other special guests included the famous Hungarian pianist Tamás Érdi who was a former pupil of the blind school and the President of the Hungarian Republic Mr. Janos Ader’s wife Mrs Anita Herczegh who was the patron of the concert. My trip was made possible by the UK charity Decibels and Specialkidz International who kindly supported me in taking part in the concert and leading music workshops.
Attracting more than 4,000 festival goers from all over the world, attendees including myself travelled to the Clin d’Oeil which is the largest Deaf festival in Europe celebrating the richness and diversity of the arts in Deaf Culture held on the 2nd – 5th July 2015 in Reims, France.
Browsing through the exciting festival brochure, it promises a multidisciplinary and multilingual program promoting D/deaf artists worldwide. With the support of local authorities in Reims as well as partnerships in wider circles; its 1st edition began in 2003 and is held biannually. CineSourds organises the Festival Clin d’Oeil and has become famous because of the artistic quality it demands in many fields: drama, films, shows, dance, exhibitions and concerts.
Sunday 24th and Monday 25th May 2015 saw the first ever ‘Raising the Bar’ event held at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (REP) for young deaf people with exceptional skills in music and dance. A huge nationwide competition was held to select participants. Six musicians and six dancers between 8 – 16 years old were chosen through a tough selection process which involved submitting an audition video along with a written application form to win an opportunity to showcase their talents, meet like-minded peers and learn from music and dance professionals currently working in the arts industry.