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Project information

Displaced Voices

Displaced Voices is an OSJ initiative that brings together refugees and asylum seekers with professional musicians and university students through hands-on musical participation.

December 2018 - December 2019

Charity information: orchestra of st john's ltd

orchestra of st john's ltd logo
  • Need


    Mental health in Immigration Removal Centres is a serious issue and it has been demonstrated that musical participation can have a meaningful impact on those struggling with mental health issues.

    For more information see the 2016 UK Immigration Detention Profile https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/europe/united-kingdom


    Music-making has been shown to support good mental health and bridge cultural barriers by bringing people together in non-verbal communal activity. Both of these are significant issues for refugees and asylum seekers - particularly those in detention. We will be working with detainees in Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre and in schools in Oxfordshire.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To support music-making with residents of Campsfield House IRC and refugees resident in OX


    » OSJ will engage refugees and asylum seekers through the established method of group improvisation. It requires no formal musical training

    What success will look like

     This project will be conducted in collaboration with students at the University of Oxford to document the outcomes of this type of collaborative music-making in IRC environments

  • Impact


    Our Director of Community Engagement will co-host a knowledge-exchange workshop in Oxford for individuals throughout the country who are engaged in musical projects and refugees/asylum seekers. This includes musical practitioners, facilities coordinators, funders, trainers, activists and researchers.


    We are always at risk of trying to do too much, and our available management resources will be stressed.
    We must also fund raise for each element of the project.


    Through bulletins on our website, and through targeted emails to donors and invitations to visit project sessions.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,600 16 sessions 2 months of weekly 3-hour music-making sessions with two groups of refugees/asylum seekers
      £6,000 fees for professional musicians
      £2,000 travel costs to and from immigration centres
      £1,600 composer four days of workshops
      £550 scores creating printed scores for the players
      £2,250 admin admin
      £5,000 events in Oxford and London

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Arts Council £15,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Throughout Oxfordshire - in the Universities, Music Hub, community centres, special schools. Not Jjust in Oxford, but throughout the county from Banbury to Didcot.


    Through this work we anticipate making a positive impact on the lives and wellbeing of 100+ of our newest community members - asylum seekers living in detention in Oxfordshire

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    John Lubbock founded the OSJ in 1967 as a classical chamber orchestra and choir to genuinely serve the community through a range of activities from public performances to work with people with autism or dementia and support for young performers. It now organises some 40 concerts a year and 50 days for people with disabilities

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Cayenna Ponchione

    Director of Community Engagement

    John Lubbock

    Oversight, as founder of the orchestra

    Simon Payne

    General Administrator


will pay for a refugee child's place at a workshop

OSJ's work in the community is a core part of our activity.

Cayenna Ponchione, associate conductor