BBC NOW: ‘Wales On Air’
In honour of this year’s St David’s day celebrations, BBC National Orchestra of Wales provided a small selection of Tempo volunteers with an exclusive backstage pass to experience the live performance of ‘Wales On Air’ at the BBC Hoddinott Hall.
As part of the BBC centenary celebrations, this live television performance took on Tuesday 1st March 2022 and offered a behind the scenes opportunity to watch how TV is made!
(1951 Welsh Symphony Orchestra)
Volunteers enjoyed a unique and intimate performance led by Stephen Bell, described by International Record Review as ‘one of the most gifted younger British conductors. Listened to the renowned orchestra perform pieces by composers including Huw Watkins, Paul Mealor and Karl Jenkins. Saw rare archive footage of Welsh TV, sport and news programmes over the decades on screens throughout the hall.
(Tempo Volunteers at the concert)
BBC NOW is the Welsh symphony orchestra and one of the BBC’s five professional radio orchestras. An amazing partner to Tempo by taking music from beyond the confines of the concert hall into school, workplaces and communities.
“Everyone at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales is delighted to be working with Tempo and it’s been wonderful meeting their incredible volunteers at our concerts and hearing about the work that they do to make Wales a better place for us all. Volunteers make a massive and positive contribution to communities across Wales, and by offering concert tickets for our performances, we hope that Tempo volunteers know how valued and appreciated they are.” Sassy Hicks, Head of Marketing, BBC NOW
Our selected volunteers come from a mixture of community groups and initiatives across Wales; such as Keep Grangetown Tidy, Sherman Theatre, Caer Heritage Hidden Hillfort Project, Pentwyn and Llanedeyrn Pickers and one of our newest members in the Tempo Network, the Rhiwbina Repair Café.
One of the volunteer groups comes from Sherman Theatre, which sits at the heart of the community in Cardiff – the Sherman 5 Member Reps. At the Sherman, everyone is invited to enjoy and experience the theatre through accessible and affordable performances.
Within the core community engagement work of the theatre, Sherman 5 aims to make theatre as welcoming, open and accessible as possible. The programme is funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and is the main conduit to 90 volunteers, approximately 30 of whom regularly provide their time to the theatre.
The free Sherman 5 membership offers discounted tickets to performances and the opportunity to learn new and transferable skills through workshops and training. Most importantly, as Sherman 5 Member Reps, these volunteers become an invaluable part of their community.
Ian Scott, who through his Sherman 5 membership, was able to participate in a free photography course in 2018. Ian later became a Sherman 5 Member Rep, using his photography skills to capture Sherman 5 activities with members and audiences. He also provided local images taken across Cardiff between lockdowns, to share online with members who were potentially isolated at home.
Ian is just about to launch his own photography business, Those Picture Days, and continues to provide his voluntary time and photography skills to Sherman 5, earning Tempo Time Credits as he does so.
“I’ve been a keen amateur photographer since 1985, but other than a handful of photos I took back in school, my photos were mostly wildlife and still life. I’ve really enjoyed doing the volunteer photo shoots for the Sherman 5. The volunteer photography opportunities afforded to me by Sherman 5 have helped immensely with the confidence to do photography in a semi-formal setting with less than ideal lighting conditions! It has also given me a head full of ideas for future projects.
I’m now excited at the prospect of doing something I truly love for a living, being my own boss, having time to give back to those who have helped me along the way, and if all goes well using the money I make to fund my photographic art projects.” Ian Scott, Sherman Member, part of the Tempo Time Credit network
In November 2019, Sherman Theatre became Wales’ first Theatre of Sanctuary, an award recognising a place where refugees and asylum seekers can feel safe, welcome and supported.
Another Tempo community group is Keep Grangetown Tidy. The residents of Grangetown wanted to keep the streets clean and build pride in the area. They also wanted to educate local people about waste and develop regular local litter-picking groups.
As part of the Tempo Time Credits network, the 300 strong volunteer group attends regular meetups. Over the last year, they have accumulated over 500 hours, collected over 400 bags of litter, all to make GrangeTown a nicer, cleaner, happier place to live.
Click here for a Welsh version of this article.