We are delighted to announce that we have won the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Impact Award for our Sound Young Minds programme, as revealed in the RPS’s special online ceremony on 18 November. The RPS Impact Award, supported by the ABRSM, is for an outstanding initiative or organisation which set out to engage and have a lasting positive impact on the lives of people who may not otherwise experience classical music.

Sound Young Minds is a bespoke programme originated by City of London Sinfonia in partnership with Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School and funded by Youth Music, that builds confidence and self-esteem in young people living with severe mental health and psychiatric conditions through music-making and sharing.

Now in its fourth year, it is the only programme of its kind in the UK and is one of the central pillars of CLS’s singular identity informing every aspect of its work from world-renowned concert stages to care homes, the digital sphere to schools.

James Murphy, Chief Executive, Royal Philharmonic Society, said:

“Congratulations to City of London Sinfonia on this outstanding initiative, proving what a positive, vital role classical musicians can play in our communities. Our panel, comprising experts from across the music profession, hopes it may become a blueprint for others to emulate and benefit from nationwide.”

Fiona Lambert, CLS’s Director of Participation, said:

“We are thrilled that Sound Young Minds has been recognised by the Royal Philharmonic Society. We’ve learned so much over the last three years, working alongside school staff and project partners, developing a way of working that has brought joy, new connections and creativity to the young people involved. It has transformed how we as an orchestra connect with people and make music together, impacting not just our participation programme but also our public performances. As we enter our fourth year, Sound Young Minds is expanding its reach to Lavender Walk Adolescent Mental Health Unit and clinics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where we look forward to sharing the pleasure of music-making with even more young people.”

Read the full press release (CLS website) >>

Gawain Hewitt, leader and composer in Sound Young Minds, speaks to Alexandra Wood (Leader and Creative Director) about our RPS Awards nomination and Sound Young Minds project in the latest episode of Lockdown Chats. Available as a video or podcast.


Keep connecting with us

Be sure to keep up to date with all our activities on Twitter @cityldnsinfonia, and on Facebook and Instagram (@cityoflondonsinfonia). You can also visit our website for information on upcoming events, as well as our wellbeing and education projects.