On 3rd April 2019 students from Portfield School showcased their musical talents at Canford School’s Layard Theatre, after working alongside students from The Orpheus Music Centre to produce 'This Is Who I Am'.
The event was emotional, joyous and was a wonderful culmination of 3 intensive days of work.
The Orpheus Music Centre is an independent specialist school in Surrey founded by Sir Richard Stilgoe that specialises in performing arts for young people with learning or physical disabilities.
They offer an outreach programme which involves students from the centre spending time with others to provide them with musical mentoring.
The outreach programme with Portfield School involved 11 of our students spending 3 days with students from Orpheus, writing and performing songs of their own creation and playing musical instruments to accompany. The outcome of those 3 days was showcased in a performance at Canford School’s new Layard Theatre, for parents and families to enjoy during World Autism Awareness week.
The Portfield School students wrote songs from their own personal perspectives; songs included ‘Portfield Alphabet’, ‘Our View’ and ‘New Way to Live’. The students were able to build their confidence and develop their skills of self expression, whilst the programme also enabled them to grow on a personal and social level as they learnt to be creative through team work.
Siún Cranny, CEO of Autism Wessex, said; "The children and staff supporters did a wonderful job, their commitment was second to none. They really focussed on the task of performance with long rehearsals and intense song writing for the couple of days I spent with them. Everyone in the Layard Theatre was deeply moved by the meaningful words and music which were so honestly shared with us by our performance group.”
Watch the Portfield Alphabet below.