Tag Archives: Great Ormond Street Hospital

Month in Pictures – July and August

It’s been a busy few months at City of London Sinfonia. In July we announced our new RE:Imagine season, and preparations are in full swing for our first CLoSer event on 22 September. We had another wonderful summer with Opera Holland Park as their Orchestra-in-residence, and were very sorry to finish the season in August. Our community and education work has continued to keep us busy too, as we performed with Orchestras Live in Luton, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital. With all of that going on, it’s amazing we still found time for a trip to Brighton!

This year was our twelfth with Opera Holland Park, where we played Puccini’s Il Trittico, Verdi’s Aida, Delibes’ Lakmé, Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre Re, and a new production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight. You can see more of Opera Holland Park behind the scenes here, or read about horn player, Mark Paine’s experiences. We were lucky to have the wonderful Robert Workman on hand for these wonderful photos.

Our partnership with Orchestras Live took us to Luton in July for the final concert in the Aiming Higher project, which gave young musicians the opportunity to play together and improve their skills. Composer John K Miles, who was commissioned to write the music for the project, told us all about his experiences working with young musicians in Luton. Here are some fab shots of all the groups in action.

We found some pretty cryptic messages during our time at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Remember – keep frogs alive!

It wasn’t all work, work, work this July and August; there’s also been plenty of fun in the office. Our favourite little mascot gave us the seal of approval on our new season, and we even managed to escape to Brighton for a day by the sea. Well, it is summer!


Month in Pictures – Summer Season!

Summer 2014 has definitely been one of the best for us here at City of London Sinfonia. With open-air opera, concerts in East London warehouses (as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival) and tons of education and community work in hospitals, care homes and primary schools, we have so many favourite memories and moments we’d love to share with you! Read on for the latest edition of our Month in Pictures blog, featuring some of our best snaps from the Summer months.


On 17 July, we were joined by 570 young musicians to perform a new piece based on ‘Carnival’ they had collaboratively composed during previous workshops with composer John K Miles and Orchestras Live. Here are some of pics of both the rehearsals and culminatory concert, including the pBone section of the Orchestra which we thought was especially brilliant (and colourful!)

In fact, we loved the pBones so much that we even decided to buy one of our own! Here is our Chief Executive, Matthew Swann trying it out earlier this week (they’re not just for kids, apparently!).

Earlier in July, we visited Great Ormond Street Hospital for some workshops and afternoon concert with some of the young patients. For the some of the children who were unable to leave their wards, the hospital set up a live-stream on their internal computer systems so that they were able to join in too.

Back in June, we are proud to have participated in Spitalfields Music Summer Festival! The Orchestra joined Icelandic composer and electronic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson for a melancholic programme of John Dowland, Thomas Adès, Arvo Part and world premiere of Valgeir’s new work No Nights Dark Enough at Village Underground, Shoreditch.

As Orchestra-in-Residence at Opera Holland Park, we are now on the last 2 productions of the open-air festival: Norma and Adriana Lecouvreur. Last Sunday, some of the musicians joined them for their Family Open Day, introducing the audience to life at the opera behind the scenes. Here are some pictures from the day, where we were conducted by the world’s youngest conductor (!). If you haven’t already been, do pop along to see a performance before it finishes on 9 August!

Our last Crash Bang Wallop! concert, The Fantastic Feast at Cadogan Hall was a real success back in May. The Concerts Team had some great fun making all the props, including slugs and pizzas – here are some of our favourites:

As part of our work in Jewish residential homes across London with our L’Chaim: Living Music project, we visited Holocaust Survivors Centre earlier in the season for a series of interactive concerts.

Co-produced with Orchestras Live, we were joined by our animateur-in-residence Claire Bloor for a series of younger years Lullaby workshops and concerts based on Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Nutcracker Suite in Bolsover, Derbyshire. A ballerina joined us for the final concert, and I think it’s fair to say that the friendly geese next door to the concert venue wanted to as well!

Education Preview: What’s coming up in 2013/14?

With the start of our 2013/14 season fast approaching, Steph caught up with our Education Manager, Gillian, to talk about all the exciting projects we have coming up. If you would like to know more about any of the projects discussed in this video, please keep an eye on our Education webpage for regular updates…

We hope you enjoyed the preview and do keep your eyes peeled for our next live broadcast!

You can donate to this life enhancing programme of events online via our JustGiving page. Every donation of any amount helps towards delivering Make the Music so please follow the link below and find out more:

Donate with JustGiving

Catch up with Meet the Music

Flashback: Meet the Music
Making a racket at one of our Lullaby workshops

It’s been an extremely hectic time for our Education team and musicians over the last couple of months, with numerous Meet the Music activities taking place. Here’s a flavour of what’s been going on…

Last weekend saw the success of another much-loved Crash Bang Wallop! concert at Cadogan Hall and while the leitmotifs of Stephen McNeff’s Squirrel Nutkin still  rattle around our heads, we are already looking ahead to the turn of Little Red Riding Hood when we return on the 11th May. In the mean time, however, our Meet the Music education team’s schedules are far from quiet…

First Time Live participants from the last project in Luton
First Time Live participants from the last project in Luton

This week sees our musicians partake in their final workshop for First Time Live at Harlow, which will culminate in the production of a concert on 21st March, completely engineered by Harlow’s finest, budding orchestra managers and composers! Under the expert guidance of our presenter, John K. Miles, and principal conductor, Michael Collins, our role in this project enables a group of brave young teenagers, who live in areas lying in the bottom 20% for levels of arts engagement, an opportunity to access, and be a part of, a live orchestral concert experience.

Turning our attention to a slightly younger audience, our Lullaby programme will this week be making a final visit to Clacton-on -Sea. Thanks to generous funding from Barnardo’s, we are able to take a quintet of musicians into three nurseries in Jaywick this Friday, followed by two interactive family concerts on Saturday, featuring excerpts from The Nutcracker and including our very own young ballerina! Next stop will be Purfleet and Under the Sea!

CLS Quartet performs at St Joseph's Hospice
CLS Quartet performs at St Joseph’s Hospice

But we don’t just take care of the little people… as part of our Wellbeing through Music programme, we also have an upcoming visit to the residents of St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, next week. We are excited about developing more opportunities to work with St Joseph’s over the next few months, including a potential composition project we have in the pipeline. We will also be performing at Guy’s Hospital on the 24th April (a lunchtime concert open to the public) and our players continue their  weekly visits to the children and families of Great Ormond Street Hospital and Evelina Children’s Hospital, bringing music as respite to those who need it the most.

Find out more about our Meet the Music Programme.

2012 – the year that was at City of London Sinfonia

It’s that time of year when we look back at the year that was and forward to the year that will be! We asked some of the City of London Sinfonia team what their own personal CLS highlight of 2012 was…

CLoSer - the final review

“My highlight definitely has to be our performance with Gwilym Simcock at the London Jazz Festival. I missed the initial performance at CLoSer in April so it was really great to have the opportunity to watch the musicians doing their thing and rocking out on Gwilym’s Move! I can’t wait for our recording to be released in 2013.”
Steph, Development & Marketing Assistant

L'chaim November credit Gillian Hunter

“A highlight of the year for me has been to see our Wellbeing through Music programme expand. Thanks to a number of charitable trusts and individual supporters, our musicians are currently taking high quality live music to Great Ormond Street Hospital, Evelina Children’s Hospital, St Joseph’s Hospice, the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, the Dementia Research Centre and Jewish Care Homes in North London. Our Wellbeing through Music programme enhances the quality of life of hundreds of patients, residents and their families. I have been lucky enough to see this work in action and it is fantastic that we are able to take the joy of live music to so many different people.”
Ruth, Development Manager

CLoSer part two - in words and pictures

“CLoSer concerts at Village Underground have been my highlight. There’s something very special about the atmosphere at CLoSer – Michael Collins playing the Copland clarinet concerto was a particular favourite moment! Also, working with Gwilym Simcock at CLoSer, London Jazz Festival and in the recording studio has been amazing. We’ve had a lot of fun in the office as well, usually on ‘Cake Friday’ when we find ourselves making snowmen or magic hats in preparation for a Crash Bang Wallop! concert.”
Becca, Concerts Manager

Crash Bang Wallop

“The few months I have been working for CLS in 2012 have been exciting and challenging. My highlight would probably be the Crash, Bang Wallop Christmas concert. It was great to see the children so involved in the music and having fun making the craft activities beforehand.”
Hannah, Education Intern


“2012 will forever be synonymous with sport and the Olympics and Paralympics, so it was fantastic that we were able to take part in a small way in the Olympic Torch Relay on the penultimate day of its journey with our partners Opera Holland Park, and the Paralympic Torch Relay a month later in Suffolk. We also celebrated endurance and strength earlier on in the year with our Conquering the Antarctic tour, which was performed to packed venues and which brought many audience members into contact with the Orchestra for the very first time”
Alex, Marketing & PR Manager

Crash Bang Wallop

“My highlight of 2012 was seeing our principal horn, Steve and sub-principal trumpet, John in reindeer antlers at Crash Bang Wallop, playing the cheeky brass stabs in my arrangement of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to a packed Cadogan Hall. A unique and fabulous CLS experience!”
Gillian, Education Manager

_D8E3297_Stowmarket Lullaby Concert 2012_low-res (P Coghlin)

“The Sea and Sky Lullaby tour, if nothing else because of the amazing acting ability of our players, and for looking good in their jauntily angled sailors hats, but also because the music was amazing and the young children were completely rapt.”
Matthew, Chief Executive

Images: James Berry, Anna Jessiman, Paul Coghlin and Clare Parker

RETROSPECT: October in Pictures

Here’s a whistle stop tour of what we got up to in October, which included a visit to St Joseph’s Hospice for a performance as part of Hospice Care Week, as well as a return to Great Ormond Street Hospital for a lunchtime chamber concert. With concerts in Hereford, Yeovil, Oswestry, Truro and Egremont with the Katona Twins and Craig Ogden, the players have been very busy, not to mention their performance at Cadogan Hall with Michael Collins, featuring the music of John Adams (complete with cow noises!).

Oh the glamorous life of a musician… Craig Ogden’s dressing room in Truro!

The City of London Sinfonia Quartet perform at St Joseph’s Hospice

The Orchestra rehearse John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with Michael Collins

Our Education Manager, Gillian, displaying her rather adventurous fashion sense ahead of our Lullaby concert tour to Suffolk.

Rehearsing with the Katona Twins at the Courtyard in Hereford

And finally… a shot from above at the Courtyard

Retrospect – September in Pictures

September saw the start of our 2012/13 concert season with a return trip to the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, and the start of the second series of  CLoSer on 19 September, with Guest Artists the Katona Twins at Village Underground.

Our Wellbeing through Music concert series returned to Great Ormond Street Hospital after a short summer break, with one of the children commenting that conducting our players was “the funniest thing ever!”


Principal Conductor Michael Collins & the orchestra rehearse at Wiltshire Music Centre


Our String Quartet at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital


Our new cushions make their Village Underground debut!


The hugely talented Katona Twins perform at CLoSer


The new series of CLoSer started on 19 September


We love this audience snap of our strings performing at CLoSer!

Images by Becca Newman, James Berry & Andrea Zapata

Retrospect – June in pictures

June was a busy month for us with the start of our ninth season at Opera Holland Park, a UK premiere of Gluck’s Il trionfo di Clelia at the Royal Opera House and several education projects inbetween. We started the month in good spirits celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in style with our friends at Piano House and finished by humming along to Donizetti, Mozart and Puccini.

Here’s a few pictures from the past month…


Gillian and Alex raise their cups for the Diamond Jubilee



Watching Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor which opened this year’s Opera Holland Park 2012 season



Gillian, our Education Manager, received a new instrument to add to her collection



A few of our players performing at Great Ormond Street Hospital



Preparing the set for Clelia at the Linbury Studio Theatre, downstairs at the Royal Opera House



Rehearsing for Il Trionfo di Clelia