Call for Musical Donations – Orchestra of St John's | Taking classical music out into the community

Call for Musical Donations

Dear supporters and readers,

As many of you will have already heard, there is an all-girls youth orchestra coming from Kabul, Afghanistan for a week’s residency in Oxford (12-19 March) with the Orchestra of St John’s. The orchestra, Ensemble Zohra, is part of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (, a co-educational institution that focuses on providing access to education to girls, orphans and street children.

Girls education in Afghanistan is still very precarious and girls music education is very rare indeed. If you are interested in the context of this visit and want to learn more, please read this short piece I have written for the University Arts Blog:

Or visit

It can be challenging and expensive for the school in Afghanistan to get the instrument supplies that they need to support this work. We are collecting donations of musical supplies and instruments for them which they can bring back to Afghanistan.

Things that they can use:
– strings (full sizes and smaller sizes ½ nand ¾ )
– rosin
– mutes
– shoulder rests/pads for vln/va
– youth orchestra scores
– trumpet books (they have hardly any)
– any woodwind books – especially collections of sonatas etc.
– reeds – clarinet and oboe reeds, especially beginner oboe reeds
– AB Guide to Music Theory 1 + 2

Instruments are also very welcome, so if you have an instrument that is collecting dust and you want it to go to a place where it will be appreciated, that will be guaranteed!

Please bring any donations either to the Music Faculty or to Somerville College by 15th March. You can also bring them to the concert on the 17th of March at the Sheldonian and we will be happy to collect them there. Or call me to arrange something else: 07530 234178

This is the first time the orchestra has been to the UK. When they are here they will play side-by-side with OSJ, Oxford Uni and County Music Service students. They will give concerts and there will be a panel discussion on women’s education in Afghanistan. Please do come along, especially to our Gala concert on the 17th of March at the Sheldonian (5pm).

Thank you in advance for any support you can give!

Cayenna Ponchione
Associate Conductor, Orchestra of St John’s

Share This Post

From our online shop

Book concerts

Forthcoming concerts

How to support OSJ

You can support all aspects of the work of OSJ by donating to us via the Charities Aid Foundation. Please click on the DONATE button in the page footer.

Why an orchestra must work in the community

John Lubbock recorded at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Workshop videos

Available online for SEN schools