The Cobweb Orchestra
It might seem an odd name for an orchestra, but then this Northern England-based group, which stretches to ensembles in eight towns, was created with the express idea of getting people to dust the cobwebs off their instruments and turn back to music-making. They cover everything from Baroque to new music (including its members' own experiments) and musicians of all abilities. They have a mailing list of 1200 people and say they never turn anyone away who wants to take part. The Cobweb Orchestra was voted to win the Music In The Community award (which rewards an amateur orchestra that has changed lives through music) via an online poll in The Times website. But it should also be remembered that Cobweb, which was short-listed (by experts from Gramophone, The Times and our other partners Making Music) alongside four other wonderful finalists – the British Police Symphony Orchestra, the Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra, the East London Late Starters Orchestra and the Really Terrible Orchestra, is first among equals. It takes many great ensembles to contribute to the UK's inspiring voluntary music scene, and in challenging economic times they all need support!