Reading: Crowdfunding supports freelance musicians

As a non-professional orchestra, Reading’s Aldworth Philharmonic often engages freelance professionals to fill gaps in the ranks for its concerts. With all engagements cancelled for up to six months and many musicians not qualifying for government support, many are experiencing financial hardship.

To help them through this lean time, APO is raising money through crowdfunding  a professional concert. Although the concert will not take place for many months and only when all social distancing restrictions are lifted, the musicians will be paid now.

“Professional musicians don’t get paid like rock stars, even when there is work for them”, remarked APO music director and Pride of Reading award winner, Andrew Taylor. “Most orchestras don’t employ musicians on salaries, but rather as freelancers. With their diaries empty, their income has simply dried up.”

The concert will be presented at Reading Town Hall’s concert hall. All those who claim tickets as part of their reward for supporting the project will be given at least two weeks’ notice when the concert date is finalised. Anyone who can’t make the date can transfer their tickets to family or friends.

“At this difficult time for everyone, we appreciate that there are lots of demands on everyone’s scarce financial reserves”, Mr. Taylor added. “These musicians have devoted themselves to enriching our lives through musical performance. Theirs is a worthy cause, and supporting the project has the added dimension of giving us all something to look forward to, in the form of what I’m sure will be a concert full of emotion.”

The crowdfunder runs until the end of May, and can be found at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/reading-covid19-lockdown-release-orchestra, or by typing ‘APO Covid-19 crowdfunder’ into your favourite search engine.

About Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra

APO is an orchestra based in Reading. It seeks to improve access to classical music through presenting accessible concerts and engaging in innovative educational initiatives, as well as providing local musicians with a chance to play orchestral music to a high standard without having to commit to weekly rehearsals.

Anyone wanting more information about APO, including how to join, can log on to www.aldworthphilharmonic.org.uk