Orchestra of St John’s Afghan Womens Orchestra project (click heading to download brochure)

Orchestra of St John’s
Afghanistan National Institute for Music
Mentorship Programme

In collaboration with Somerville College, the Oxfordshire County Music Service (OCMS) and the University of Oxford Faculty of Music, OSJ is engaging with the young musicians of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) through a variety of online and in person educational and social interactions to cultivate musical and personal skills and develop mutual understandings across cultural boundaries. These include an ongoing mentorship programme for ANIM instrumentalists, conductors and composers, a distance musical mentorship programme between Oxford University and ANIM students, and a week-long residency in Oxford for the Afghan Women’s Orchestra (Ensemble Zohra). The residency will to include workshops, academic panel discussions, community engagement activities and performances in Oxfordshire and London with OSJ, OCMS and OU student musicians. This is the first time that the orchestra has travelled to the United Kingdom, and OSJ is pleased to be the driving force behind this historic event.

Through this project we are cultivating cultural leaders by empowering students to become creative thinkers, building confidence through performance and skill acquisition, and collaborating with colleagues across cultural boundaries. We are fostering enduring relationships and networks between the young people already in places of opportunity in order to aid their further development into civic leaders in any field, be it in government, education, business, the arts, and most importantly, within their families and communities.

1.) Distance Music Lessons

Currently OSJ is providing much-needed online music lessons for the students of ANIM in trumpet (Paul Archibald), composition (Toby Young) and conducting (Cayenna Ponchione). We are currently working to obtain funding to continue and build on this programme. Please contact admin@osj.org.uk for information on how to sponsor music lessons for a student at ANIM.

2.) Oxford-ANIM Musical Mentorship Programme

Oxford University Students meet with younger students at regular intervals during term time, to discuss musical backgrounds and share musical experiences. The mentorship programme, in it’s pilot stage, is designed to build connections across cultural and physical boundaries.

3.) Afghan Women’s Orchestra (Ensemble Zohra) Residency (12-19 March 2019)

The Afghan Women’s Orchestra, Ensemble Zohra, will be in residence at Somerville College from the 12th-19th of March. During this time they will play alongside, OSJ, Oxford University, Harrow Young Musicians and Oxford County Music Service students, take part in masterclasses, panel discussions, and perform in schools concerts in Oxfordshire. They will perform at the Harrow Arts Centre, Sheldonian Theatre, Holywell Music room and Lancaster House.

A full programme of their activities and how to book tickets will be available soon.

In the meantime OSJ needs your support to bring the orchestra here. Please visit our SUPPORT PAGE or email admin@osj.org.uk for more information.