THROUGH ART FOR INDEPENDENCE
ORKIESTRA VITA ACTIVA
has worked for “PSOUU – Koło w Gdańsku” (Polish association for the mentally challenged in Gdańsk) since 1995. All 35 members of the orchestra are only adults (grownup, majority of which are people with intellectual disabilities, their parents, volunteers. There are professional artists starring on some OVA concerts. Orchestra performed over 240 concerts in Poland and abroad. It presented its music in 60 cities. Since 1995 there have been 80 performers connected with the orchestra – people with disabilities as wekk as volunteers.
Conductor VITA ACTIVA ORCHESTRA and artistic director is
The content and organizational cooperation
Orchestra performs music from different eras and various styles, ranging from baroque to contemporary, sonoristic music.
Original arrangements for percussion instruments (whose author is Miroslaw Lipińska), and expressive music performance are creating unforgettable artistic experience. Listeners opinions express plenty of entries in the orchestra chronicles, some of which are shown on the website.
To its members, VITA ACTIVA ORCHESTRA activity is a form of continuous education, and at the same time it is fullfilling adulthood in socially important activities, which gain recognition and respect. Participation in orchestra activity
helps to discover new areas of activity, in which new abilities are being shaped or improved. During trainings and concerts members of the orchestra have to cope with numerous non-musical tasks, as far as possible on their own.
Motto of the program expresses its essence:
“Through art to self-reliance”
Except artistic and personal goals the main purpose of the program is to integrate people raising children with mental disability. Shaping social opinion through performances, promulgating the attitude of being open to family problems, members of which
are persons with disabilities and understanding the needs of the people with intelectual disabilities. One of the goals of OVA activity is to popularize provisions of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, especially 30th article of this Convention, which is about access to culture for those people.
MEASURES OF ART
The orchestra plays on both melodic percussion instruments and non-melodic. Melodic group consists of: group of glockenspiels (soprano, alto), group of metalofons (alto, bass), group of xylophones (soprano, alto, bass), and double bass bars. Sound compliments pitched timpanies. Orchestra uses about 50 non-melodic instruments: different sized drums, cymbals, different varieties of color instruments (guiro, kabasa, tempelbloki, china bars, Crotale, Claves, and many others) often with exotic origins. Percussion instruments are complimented with classic instruments: basses, trumpets, sakshorns, tubes, harps, zither and
electronic instruments. The range of sound is comparable to the scale of symphony orchestra, while the dynamics of the sound
and the possibility of its significant varying allows to play in a relatively large concert halls, preserving the interpretation features of performed pieces.
GENERALIZATION OF EXPERIENCES
Basing on the experiences of OVA activities, music driven, cultural education program ECEKON was established, which involves children and young people with disabilities, preparing them to participate in amateur musical movement, including the
activities of the Orchestra Vita Activa. For more information on the programs, check website www.ecekon.pl.