Disabled composer’s delight at digital honour

Ray De Grussa with Controller of BBC Learning, Saul Nasse
Ray De Grussa with Controller of BBC Learning, Saul Nasse
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A DISABLED Sheffield man has won an award for his music - achieved using specialist computer software.

Ray De Grussa, aged 60, won the BBC-sponsored Digital Participation Award as part of adult learners’ week.

Ray, of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Mickley Hall, Totley, dreamed about making music for many years, but struggled to find a course that could support him.

But in 2009 Ray began a music course at Sheffield University, supported by Drake Music, an organisation that specialises in the use of assistive technology.

He learned how to use specialist software to operate his laptop using methods such as switches and voice control, instead of a keyboard and mouse.

He has now composed five pieces of music - and performed one of them at Totley Music Festival last year.

Ray said: “I was thrilled when Drake Music nominated me for the award.”