Oxford Concert Party

Concerts in Hospices and Residential Homes

Our aim is to deliver a minimum of 16 participatory musical concerts for the elderly in hospices and residential homes around the country and to create openings for follow on workshops.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1049340)




  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Hospitals/HospicesHospitals/Hospices


  • Older PeopleOlder People



We have delivered concerts and workshops to disadvantaged people and isolated communities across the county, including the elderly, people with dementia and adults with learning difficulties. We wish to build on the success of the work we have undertaken so far with organisations who would like us to work with them, but who do not have the funds to hire us. People in residential and care homes rarely have the opportunity of enjoying and participating in live concerts. This can lead to a feeling of physical isolation and, perhaps more importantly, mental and emotional isolation, especially for those who trapped within their own minds. If music is offered, it is often as a passive activity, in itself a pleasurable and rewarding experience. However, inviting people to participate actively in the concerts and workshops offers a further opportunity in helping to break through their isolation. Music is a powerful tool when working with elderly people and those suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s and can have extraordinarily profound effects: people whose communication has been limited or who often appear confused can suddenly regain clarity of mind through the stimulation of memory through music. People who may not remember what they had for lunch half an hour ago can be transported to childhood holidays through the sound of an ocean drum and before you know it they can recall in vivid detail their annual trips to the seaside years ago. This stems from the belief of the Artistic Director of OCP, ARne Richards, in the healing and humanising power of music. As well as his skills as a professional performer and composer, ARne is a highly trained and experienced music therapist. The OCP has had some wonderful responses over the years from people with special needs, Alzheimer sufferers and the elderly, including the elderly gentleman who rose to his feet and made an eloquent, if slightly muddled, speech of thanks. This would be unremarkable were it not for the fact that as an Alzheimer patient, the nurses had not heard him utter more than two words in the last five years: the music had unlocked his hitherto imprisoned faculties and encouraged him to speak once more. There was also Edward who had been refused access to all lunch clubs because of his sometimes unpredictable and aggressive behaviour: he was given a chance at Steeple Claydon lunch club and after Arne had established a connection with him through his love of jazz, he became happy, responsive and communicative and has remained so ever since. We will arrange a minimum of 16 concerts through 2010, using existing contacts in organisations such as MIND and Age Concern. We plan to perform to approximately 600 people during these concerts. The cost would be £17,100. If we are unable to get the full amount, we will undertake as many concerts as possible. The budget covers the musicians’ fees, travel and accommodation expenses. A contribution to this project will also be used as leverage to obtain funding for follow up workshops within the residential homes and hospices.