What’s Happening In Camerata In The Community?

Posted on April 12, 2017

Research in Dementia with Camerata

Our Camerata in the Community team consists of Lucy Geddes (Camerata in the Community Manager), Gareth Bibby (Camerata in the Community Projects Officer), Emma Arnold (University of Leeds placement) and Robyn Dowlen (University of Manchester PhD student). Together the team plan, organise and facilitate the yearly programme of activities that we offer for the community.

Background to Camerata in the Community (CitC)

The CitC programme began over 20 years ago with the aim of using music as a tool to improve people’s lives. The aim of every project is to enable participants to create new music and to take ownership over their creative decisions. This process takes many different forms, including improvised music-making for people living with dementia and structured compositions with young people in schools. Our programme is split into two strands: ‘Schools’ and ‘Health & Wellbeing’ and is delivered by musicians from the orchestra as well as composers, music therapists, theatre makers, vocalists and producers. Research and evaluation is a central part of our work, with studies being conducted in partnership with the University of Manchester and independent researchers. We collaborate with a range of organisations and receive funding from sources including Public Health England, NHS Foundation Trusts and CCGs, Music Education Hubs, Schools, Arts Organisations and Housing Groups.

Below is a snapshot of what’s coming up in the next few months.


  • A partnership project with Chetham’s School of Music is taking place between Sept 2017 – April 2018, giving GCSE music students from Manchester high schools the chance to develop their listening skills through a series of practical workshops and interactive concerts
  • Throughout this academic year, Camerata musicians will continue to work with every teacher at Webster Primary School in Manchester to deliver training on how to incorporate music into the whole curriculum. We will also deliver bespoke projects on historical subjects
  • In January – February 2018, we will continue to work with the Stafford Music Service by delivering a creative composition project for up to 30 schools in the Stafford area. Each school will take part in song writing workshop delivered by a Camerata composer and musician and then form one large ensemble to perform the new work with a Camerata ensemble
  • Two projects are currently being delivered in partnership with Orchestra’s Live and East Riding Council in Withernsea. The first project is also a collaboration with Sinfonia Viva, in which young people are creating new music to perform in a joint concert at Bridlington Spa in January 2018. The second is a series of music-making workshops and training sessions for older people and their carers in Withernsea, from which a new composition will be created and arranged for the orchestra to play in a concert in March 2018

Health And Wellbeing 

  • This autumn, a collaborative project with Mosscare Housing Scheme sees a Camerata musician, composer, vocalist and theatre maker creating a new piece about community and heritage with older residents, which will be performed as part of the Camerata concert at Albert Hall in Manchester on 10th December
  • We are piloting a new project with Tameside Public Health’s older people’s team, in which members of the community are trained in creative facilitation skills and are given support by Manchester Camerata practitioners to set up their own community arts groups. These groups will be creating work based on a central theme and will share their work at performances in December 2017 and March 2018
  • In early 2017, a project with Tameside Public Health gave pupils in a Tameside school the opportunity to compose a series of tracks based on health and wellbeing topics which were relevant to the students. This year, we will be working with more schools in Tameside to produce an album to use as a PHSE training tool for schools and teachers
  • Music in Mind projects for people with dementia continue throughout the year with weekly sessions delivered by a musician and music therapist in care homes, community centres and hospitals across GM: Manchester, Salford and Bolton

We are developing training tools to help other people lead music sessions for older people, including:

  • Creating an online resource and CD for carers of people with dementia
  • Music composition and drama training for community leaders in Manchester and Tameside
  • Continued partnership with the British Council Japan, where two musicians will travel to Japan in Sept and Dec 2017 to train orchestral musicians in Osaka, Tokyo and Kawasaki

New Ventures

  • The ‘St John’s Collective’ project will launch in December 2017, which is a joint initiative between Camerata and Allied London to create a new amateur orchestra based in Manchester city centre. Workshop sessions in the new year will be aimed at learning a new piece specifically composed for the ensemble by Jonathan Raine, Allied London’s Corporate Director, which will be performed in March 2018
  • Manchester-born hip-hop/ rock band Prose will become pioneers for our work with young people from disadvantaged areas in 2017-18, starting with recording a joint EP and a gig at Band on the Wall in December