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New Orchestra Strikes Fresh Chord For Bridge Trust

The Rochester Bridge Trust is sponsoring an innovative two-year programme to bring a wide range of young musicians, including DJs and MCs, together. Orchestra ONE, Orchestra of New Experiences, was officially launched at the historic charity’s Bridge Chamber, Rochester, on May 19.

Kent Music, a music education charity, will be leading the programme, and will be working in partnership with Rhythmix, a charity specialising in youth music initiatives. They aim to work with young musicians in the Maidstone, Tonbridge and Medway area. There will be free music workshops and two concerts each year, all with music inspired by the River Medway.

Peter Bolton, Chief Executive at Kent Music, said: “This is an exciting programme designed to attract young people with a passion for music who rarely get the opportunity to share their enthusiasm with other musicians.

“We will be welcoming all styles of music making including classical players, jazzers, sound designers, MCs, DJs and any other young musician wishing to participate.”

The two-year programme will be divided into four discrete projects each led by different leading composers and youth music specialists. Each project will include 10 free workshops for young people, aged between 12 and 19 years, who do not usually participate in musical groups. There will also be four Orchestra ONE rehearsals involving local young musicians with more group-work experience leading up to a concert of original music.

Senior Bridge Warden Dr Anne Logan said: “The Rochester Bridge Trust is delighted to support this interesting and exciting initiative with a substantial grant. We hope that the opportunity will enrich the lives of many young musicians some of whom may face challenging circumstances.

“The Trust is one of the country’s oldest charities with the key responsibility of providing a crossing over the River Medway at Rochester at no cost to the public.

“Fortunately, careful investment and management of our endowments since the 14th and 15th centuries has enabled us not only to maintain our three current bridges, and plan for their replacement in the future, but also to support many community projects.

“Orchestra ONE continues our long tradition of promoting educational projects and will attract and inspire young people who may otherwise not have the chance to share their musical talents.

“I am looking forward to watching the orchestra grow over the two years and become an important addition to the range of musical experiences available to young people in Kent.”

For further information about Orchestra ONE go to, email: or call 01622 358 412

Caption: Senior Bridge Warden Dr Anne Logan tries her hand at jazz guitar at the launch of Orchestra ONE with Peter Bolton, left, Laura Callaghan, of Kent Music, and Russell Grooms, of Rhythmix (May 19, 2011)Notes to editors:

1. The Rochester Bridge Trust was founded in 1399 and is the only surviving independent bridge trust that still serves its original purpose. The Trust owns and maintains the road and service bridges over the Medway at Rochester and has contributed to the cost of many other Medway crossings over the centuries. It also makes charitable grants and supports other charitable and educational projects in Kent.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125

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