Orchestras for All (OFA), the innovative music charity which gives 11-18 year olds with complex lives the opportunity to access the life-changing experience of ensemble music-making, has today announced Nick Thorne as its new Executive Director.
Nick will take on the leadership of Orchestras for All from January 2020 at an exciting moment in the organisation’s journey, with its tenth anniversary season and ambitious new 2020-2025 strategy due to launch in summer 2020. Nick joins the organisation after leadership roles at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Dorset Music Hub and most recently as Head of Partnerships at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, during which time he was instrumental in establishing NYO Inspire, a game-changing inclusion and access programme now reaching over 10,000 young people across the UK.
Nick commented: “I believe that young people from every background should have the opportunity to believe in their potential and develop their skills through high quality musical experiences. I’m delighted to join the team at Orchestras for All. OFA is uniquely placed to enable those hardest to reach musicians and teachers to develop through collaboration and sharing best practice with partnerships across the whole music education sector. I can’t wait to join Susanna, Marianna and the team in January.”
Following a rigorous and competitive application process, Nick will take on the role from Stuart Burns, who is moving on from the organisation first for a period of overseas travel. Since joining Orchestras for All in 2014, Stuart has overseen the growth and expansion of the organisation, forging new partnerships across the UK and establishing Orchestras for All as a leading voice in inclusive ensemble music-making. Nick will be supported in his new role by Founder and Artistic Director Marianna Hay, the dynamic staff team based at Cecil Sharp House in Camden and the charity’s committed Board of Trustees, led by Susanna Eastburn MBE.
Susanna commented: “The Trustees and I are hugely excited by Nick’s appointment. At every stage of the recruitment process, Nick impressed us with his energy, passion and understanding of the context in which our vital work takes place. He brings with him such an impressive track record from the NYO of visionary partnership building and opening up musical opportunities to thousands of young people. As we head towards our second decade, we feel confident that Nick will lead and empower the team to continue and grow Orchestras for All’s vital work to ensure that every young person is able to access high quality music making, whatever their background. We are looking forward to working with Nick to launch and implement our strategy for 2020-2025. On behalf of the Trustees, I would also like to offer our warmest thanks and appreciation for Stuart Burns, who has done such a magnificent job over the last five years in building and strengthening the organisation.”
Marianna commented: “I am delighted to welcome Nick as Orchestras for All’s new Executive Director. Nick is passionate about opening up the experience of orchestral music making to young people from all backgrounds and is able to deliver exceptional results. This is reflected in the fantastic work he has led at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain over the past five years and shone through in his interviews and conversations with the OFA Trustees and staff team during the recruitment process. I am very much looking forward to working with Nick from January 2020 as the organisation heads into its 10th year and the launch of our new 2020-2025 strategy. In the meantime, all our thanks must go to Stuart Burns who has worked tirelessly over the past five years to develop Orchestras for All into the sector leading organisation it is today. We would not have got to this point without his commitment, vision and skill. We are extraordinarily grateful to him and wish him all the very best as he heads off on some well-earned adventures.”
Since Marianna founded OFA in 2011 the charity has worked with over 2,000 young people aged 11- 18 with complex needs, supported over 100 music teachers and community music leaders, worked with over 75 schools, performed to over 20,000 people in a range of iconic venues across the UK and commissioned and arranged over 30 pieces of music for mixed skill-level ensembles. OFA is now established as one of the most dynamic young charities in the music education sector with its programmes receiving widespread recognition, including a shortlisting for the Best Musical Initiative Award at the 2017 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence and attracting funding from major organisations including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.