Activities during Covid – Orchestra of St John's | Taking classical music out into the community

Activities during Covid

During the lockdown, we are using our resources to help the community in two main programmes:

‘Serenading’ patients and staff  in mental health wards in Oxford.

Music for Autism remote concerts for children with Special Educational Needs

Engagement with vulnerable people: The vulnerable communities we work with in Oxford through face to face workshops and community outreach include: young people with SEN, refugees, migrants and older people, now even more at risk of disadvantage and mental health issues relating to isolation, with a reduction on capacity of local support services. Our Music for Autism workshops can no longer take place due to the closure of SEN schools. Vulnerable families are struggling as full-time carers, with little support, for young people with SEN.

We want to continue to share the expertise and talents of our musicians to benefit the wellbeing of our community during this crisis. We also seek to provide an income generation opportunity for our pool of freelance musicians & animateurs, while strategically developing our organisation and cultivating new partnerships to enable us to build sustainability.

We are currently working on producing online workshops for young people, which could be extended to a wider audience of vulnerable people in the community. Initially our musicians and animateurs will connect with children with special educational needs and their families in their homes.

A brand-new ‘Connections’ initiative created in response to a notable decrease in mental health during the lockdown. Working with new partner, Oxford Hospitals Trust, and Oxford City Council, we will deliver a ‘Serenading’ project, providing live performances of classical musical to increase levels of wellbeing for vulnerable people in isolation cared for by local mental health services, and also provide morale boosting music for NHS staff. Supporting mental health services is an urgent need, we sought the advice of Oxfordshire Mind during the planning phase and reached out to Thames Valley Police for endorsement.

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Why an orchestra must work in the community

John Lubbock recorded at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

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Available online for SEN schools