Whether you are a classical music enthusiast, or are going to a concert for the first time, the Academy’s pre-concert talks are guaranteed to add value and enjoyment to your experience. We also support homeless and vulnerable adults through our flagship adult learning project Musical Foundations.
Open to all ticket-holders free of charge, the majority of our London concerts are preceded by a pre-concert talk, where an Academy musician is joined by the guest soloist/director for the evening to offer insight into the concert’s repertoire, the experience of working with the Academy, and short stories and anecdotes shedding light on life as a professional musician. Questions from the audience are welcome (and encouraged!).
Since 1998 the Academy has been working to empower homeless and vulnerable adults through music-making. Often homeless adults are affected by experiences of rejection, addiction or mental illness, and while material benefits such as food and clothing provide necessary aid, the personal, social and therapeutic benefits of music-making can alleviate daily pressures and provide the strength for individuals to make long-lasting changes to their personal circumstances.
Over the years, the Academy has developed various creative projects introducing song writing, composition and improvisation activities which have inspired and given participants the opportunity to be creative individuals and feel empowered by the confidence and support that making music with our players brings. Musical Foundations sees Academy musicians work with participants from the West London Day Centre over six months each year in a sustained programme of music-making. A series of informal improvisation, composition and creative workshops are delivered with the aim of increasing the self-confidence and musicianship of the adults involved.
Each project culminates in a live performance or session in a professional recording studio under the guise of the ‘Seymour Orchestra’. Listen to compositions from past projects below:
The Cold Song – recorded 2016
Dreams – recorded 2016
Circles of Life – recorded 2014
A Blind Man Said – recorded 2013
Winter Tango – recorded 2013
Museum of Homelessness’ State of the Nation
We were delighted to take part in the Museum of Homelessness’ State of the Nation weekender in April at Tate Modern’s Tate Exchange.
The weekend brought together a rich mix of perspectives on homelessness from a range of guests including artists, politicians and people with experience of homelessness. Academy musicians performed pieces composed by members of the West London Day Centre group in response to artwork displayed at Tate, as well as performing alongside members of the group.
Watch one of the performances from this project in the video below, and see more of the compositions on our YouTube channel.
The Academy is committed to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults involved in all of our learning and participation projects. Click here to read our full vulnerable adult safeguarding policy.