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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Megan Graye

Man who uses music to manage his Tourette’s syndrome will have his work performed at BBC Proms


A man who uses music to manage his Tourette’s syndrome will have his work performed at the BBC Proms.

Gavin Higgins, a composer in association with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, was diagnosed with Tourette’s and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a child.

Growing up in London surrounded by a family of brass musicians, he started using music as a form of self therapy.

Speaking to BBC News he said: "Everything stops when I play music.”

"Composing has become a really important creative outlet for me and certainly a way of calming down my OCD and my invasive and repetitive thoughts," he said.

On Monday (8 August), the Tredegar Town Brass Band and the Welsh National Orchestra will perform his “Concerto Grosso” at the Royal Albert Hall.

Higgins said that Concerto Grosso celebrated music “made by the working classes at the very heart of the British musical landscape".

The Tredegar Brass Band had been rehearsing Higgin’s composition for months, without knowing that they were working towards the Proms.

Higgins said that the audience would have their “socks blown off” by the performance from one of the best “world’s best brass bands”.

The performance will be the first time a brass band has played at the Proms in 10 years.

Higgins said that he hopes the event will get more people interested in brass bands, and help them gain the “recognition” they “deserve”.

When Higgins orginally started developing facial tics and obsessive thoughts, he used music to calm symptoms down. This eventually turned into his career.

"I can lose myself in it for hours. It is not only something I love to do as a job but something I need to do for me," Higgins said.

You can watch a selection of the Proms event on BBC iPlayer.

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