About Us  

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“My life just disappeared so quickly with the addiction, it was horrendous. Then joining New Note Orchestra and being accepted and having that freedom is lovely. When you are stressed and you start drinking it’s to flatten your pain. But you cannot just flatten your pain so you flatten everything else as well. Doing this is like becoming awake.” Jo  – Singer. 

New Note Orchestra helps people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. It is the first ‘recovery’ orchestra in the world. 
We help our musicians learn new skills, increase confidence and reduce isolation, which are essential ingredients to staying sober.  Through our public performances we tackle the stigmas surrounding alcoholism and addiction.
Improvisation is at the heart of everything we do and enables us to be inclusive. Anyone can join. We welcome complete beginners who can’t read music through to professional musicians. Working as a group to produce our own music empowers our players. 
NNO creates a community where the players actively support each other. It helps to open up pathways to mainstream opportunities in education, training, work experience and employment. 

Some of our recent achievements

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People have said some lovely things about New Note Orchestra. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Testimonial
    Caroline Lucas. MP for Brighton Pavilion

    I dropped into a New Note Orchestra rehearsal. They practice at St Luke’s Church in my constituency, so I took the opportunity whilst Parliament is in recess to pay a visit. I’ve heard such wonderful things about New Note, I wanted to see for myself what they’re currently working on, and to speak to those involved. The orchestra was set up by Molly Mathieson in 2015. It’s made up of professional and amateur musicians, along with complete beginners, recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. There’s a real energy about the group, and it was impressive to hear how far they’ve come in just a short space of time. They’ve already composed a number of works and held local performances - with many more concerts planned. Everyone behind the orchestra, including the musicians themselves, has been drawn to it for their own personal reasons and experience. What is evident and unites them all, is their passion for the project. Music can be an incredibly powerful way to bring people together; and it feels as if something really quite special has been created at the New Note Orchestra. I look forward to hearing more about future concerts and successes – of which I’m sure there will be many."

  • Testimonial
    Kirby Gregory. Care Director, Action on Addiction.

    Action on Addiction is pleased to support New Note Orchestra. Our previous involvement with the Addicts’ Symphony TV programme reinforces the idea that this is a really creative way to support and encourage people in their recovery from addiction. The parallel with the peer-support and mutual aid movement is clear; being part of a recovery group or community creates something that is greater than the individuals involved. In music, it creates something moving and powerful. In recovery, it creates something that is more powerful than addiction."

  • Testimonial
    Peter Kyle. MP for Hove and Portslade

    "I love the idea of New Note Orchestra. Orchestras are famously disciplined, supportive, and creative and these are all things that people recovering from addition need the most. They are also forums where people explore their talent and potential and I believe everyone has both even though it takes help for some people to realise it themselves. I really wish this fantastic initiative the very best in their important work."

  • Testimonial
    Simon Kirby. MP for MP for Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven

    “I am delighted to hear that New Note Orchestra, the first recovery orchestra in the world for people with alcohol and addiction issues, is being launched in Brighton. I am sure that the project will be a huge success.”    

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