​The 4th OHMI Competition is now open for entries.  The OHMI Trust’s objective is to remove the barriers to music-making faced by the physically disabled.

Other than the previous winners of the OHMI competition there are virtually no orchestral instruments that can be played without two fully functioning hands and arms.  This denies unlimited participation in musical life to millions, including those with congenital disabilities and amputees as well as those who may have been injured, suffered a stroke or developed arthritis. The primary obstacle is the absence of suitable instruments.

​There are three entry categories:

PLAYABLE – All instruments in this category must be must capable of performance without further development. Adaptations must have all the capabilities of the original instrument. Where an entry uses new technology, perhaps electronics, it must closely copy the musical characteristics of the instrument it is emulating.

CONCEPT – Awarded for the most technically promising solution(s) to the challenge. Entries may be made in any form – paper, video, drawings, etc., just as long as they explain and describe the concept in detail to the competition judges. In the past, many entries have been projects in development -playable, but not yet to the high standard required.

ENABLING – Awarded for apparatus (straps, stands, harnesses etc.) that make traditional instruments accessible for one-handed playing.

Entries should be sent to rachel(at)ohmi.org.uk.

They may be submitted in any format, providing it fully explains the entry. Competitors may then be asked for further information or, if in the Playable category, videos of the instrument in use.  ​More details can be found at http://www.ohmi.org.uk/the-ohmi-competition.html

The deadline for submissions is 30th April 2016. Judging by an independent panel will take place shortly thereafter.  The Award Ceremony will take place on 3rd June as part of BBC Music Day celebrations.​​

Photo courtesy of OHMI & Huw Meredith.