Following the success of the ExtraOrdinary Arts Packages (Essex) project in Autumn 2021, which involved Sinfonia Viva and Orchestras Live working with Essex-based organisations including Peaceful Place, Kool Carers, Basildon Council and Essex County Council, the partners came back together to design a project which was more closely centred around the intergenerational relationship between the members of Peaceful Place and Kool Carers. 

Watch our video about the project below, filmed and edited by Offshoot Films.

Between April-June 2022, Sinfonia Viva and T.I.M.E music charity delivered a series of creative workshops with two targeted groups: one of young carers (aged 8-16) from Kool Carers and one group of people living with early onset Dementia from Peaceful Place in Basildon, Essex. 32 participants were selected by Rachel Tungate (CEO of Kool Carers) and Charlotte Curran (CEO of Peaceful Place). 

Breaks between the activities gave space for participants from both groups to socialise.  The welcoming nature of the venue with the range of spaces, such as the garden, around large tables for lunch and the various rooms, gave many opportunities for socialising. In these spaces, friendships were formed, and much laughter and many meaningful conversations were shared. 

Each week, the group improvisation was facilitated in a way that the musicians simply supported the rhythm or melodies produced by the participants. Musical ideas were picked up on and encouraged, giving individuals time and attention to express a melody or rhythm on their instrument, or use a conductors baton to lead a musician. What was so effective with this activity was how Sam could keep the whole group engaged and involved, even if his eye contact and attention was directed at one person. This ensemble music making was incredibly special and where real stand-out moments of confidence and creative expression were sensitively facilitated.

“I’ve had a number of projects coming into Peaceful Place playing music AT our members - [whereas] this is about participation. I notice every single member sees themselves as musicians – including myself! Throughout the week we are bursting into song.”
– Charlotte Curran, CEO Peaceful Place

For the young carers, we explored the theme of the metaphorical jewels in their lives. It was a positive brief, but their stories, burdens and hardships were just below the surface. Putting your experience into words is therapeutic but it can also be a very vulnerable and emotionally evocative experience. They required support and to build trusting relationships with the musicians to start expressing their ideas. The group worked closely with Dave (Double bass) and Rob (Guitar) alongside the team from Kool Carers, who would encourage and amplify any ideas that were put forward, rewarding the courage and creativity.

“Writing the music for me is such a free experience – it’s a way of taking any feelings you have and put them into metaphors and just speak about them. It’s a really good thing to do, especially if you’re struggling.”
Kool Carer

The final event at Gloucester Park saw the two groups come together for a performance, led by Sam Glazer and supportively framed by an ensemble of musicians from Sinfonia Viva and T.I.M.E.  The performance was part of the Jubilee Big Lunch celebrations and included a range of other performers who shared their music and dance.  As well as performing together on stage, the full team from Peaceful Place, Kool Carers, T.I.M.E and Sinfonia Viva enjoyed listening to the other performances and dancing together. 

“It was great to be in the space at the park. The experience of being there was overwhelmingly positive – connecting and coming together – and enjoying themselves. There was an extra richness of environment and stimulation.”
– Sam Glazer, Sinfonia Viva

Jewels in the Crown was co-produced by Sinfonia Viva and Orchestras Live.

The project was delivered in partnership with Kool Carers, Peaceful Place, T.I.M.E and Basildon Council.

Sinfonia Viva:

Music Leader & Cello: Sam Glazer
Viola: Janina Kopinska
Double Bass: Dave Ayre
Oboe: Maddy Aldis-Evans
Trombone: Peter Crocker


Guitar: Marc Barnacle
Guitar and Percussion:
Mike Barnes
Guitar, Percussion & Vocals:
Rob Fillary

Project Management Team:

Jewels in the Crown was run in partnership between Sinfonia Viva, Orchestras Live, Kool Carers, Peaceful Place and T.I.M.E

Sinfonia Viva

Marianne Barraclough (Deputy Chief Executive: Programme
Matthew Lax (Deputy Chief Executive: Operation)
Hattie Coupe (Creative Projects Producer)

Orchestras Live: Stuart Bruce (Senior Producer)

Kool Carers:
Rachel Tungate (CEO)

Peaceful Place: Charlotte Curran (CEO)