Connect puts access and wellbeing centre stage

Connect puts access and wellbeing centre stage

CONNECT Open Rehearsals are a new initiative by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, which provide registered community groups the opportunity to observe an orchestra and conductor putting the final touches on a concert performance.

This program is specifically tailored to individuals who may be unable to attend a fullsymphony orchestra concert due to issues with access, and is presented byHealthway, promoting the Act-Belong-Commit positive mental health message. Thenext CONNECT is 9am Friday 13 October, 2017 at Perth Concert Hall. Participantswill be provided with morning tea before the rehearsal, followed by a short welcomeand talk about the music before they enter the Auditorium.

WASO works closely with the Perth Concert Hall management to ensure that allaspects of the CONNECT program are sympathetic to the needs of the communitygroups who attend. Over 40 participants from seven different disability supportorganisations attended the first CONNECT on Friday 25 August. In 2018, CONNECTwill expand to include additional targeted sectors.

“WASO has been providing quality musical experiences to school-aged students withdisabilities for a number of years now”, said Cassandra Lake, Executive Manager,Community Engagement at WASO. “Addressing issues of access is something we’reextremely passionate about at WASO, and we’re thrilled to partner with Healthway tooffer this new program to adults.”

Healthway’s Acting Executive Director, Maree De Lacey said: “We are delighted to bepartnering with WASO to offer CONNECT which will give people who do not have anopportunity to enjoy live orchestral music, an opportunity to do so."

“CONNECT is the perfect name for this great new concept, enabling people to connectwith each other through their shared interests in music."

“Connecting with others is essential for mental wellbeing and, we also know that peoplewho are involved in artistic acitivies are more likley to be mentally healthy than peoplewho are not involved.”

About WASO

In recent years WASO has established a national reputation for delivering high quality musical experiences and programs to students with Special Educational Needs, including the Harmony Music program delivered to schools direct, as well as Hospital Orchestra Project (HOP) at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. HOP is the only program of its kind in Australia and has been profiled in a number of national publications this year, as well as at the 8th International Arts and Health Conference in Sydney. As an extension of these existing programs that are primarily focused on young people and students, WASO began its CONNECT Open Rehearsal Program as an extension of their existing Community Outreach portfolio, in an effort to reach adults who live with disability.

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