The students were challenged to become fully integrated members of Odyssey’s inclusive community theatre group, and to create the soundscape that would accompany the Christmas production, “The Spirit of Christmas” performed at the Wales Millennium Centre during November.
The students wrote and arranged all the music and performed all pieces live, employing a range of instruments and voices as well as creative and innovative performance techniques. Students also developed their sign language skills and used this beautiful art form creatively throughout the piece.
Students attended nine weekly rehearsals, as well as attending two intensive rehearsal weekends with the full cast of Odyssey’s actors, with and without learning disabilities, and students from Woodlands Special School in Cardiff.
The students attended two workshops at the University with Gaynor Lougher (Director) and Jon Kidd (Assistant Director), developing musical ideas creatively. They were also invited to Woodlands Special School to introduce musical ideas to the students who would be involved in the performances, calling upon their prior placement experiences of working creatively and therapeutically in educational contexts.
Beth Pickard, Senior Lecturer for Creative and Therapeutic Arts, said “Through providing considerable musical challenges to the students, this exciting and inclusive project enabled them to experience the work of a Creative Arts Practitioner in the community. It is hoped that this meaningful and colourful project will equip our students with the knowledge and experience to participate in, facilitate and lead project of similar scope and value in the future.”
For more information about studying this course at the University of South Wales, visit: BA (Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts.