by Author Stuart Burns

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Job description

What is Orchestras for All?

Orchestras for All (OFA) believes that all young people should be able to access the life-changing experience of ensemble music-making whatever their circumstances.

We work with young people (11-18) who face multiple challenges, including social, behavioural or learning difficulties, chronic medical conditions, being a young carer, living in an economically deprived household, having no fixed abode or being a newly arrived unaccompanied refugee. What unites our young people is a commitment and dedication to music, often in the most challenging of circumstances.

We work to address the inconsistent provision of high quality music experiences across the UK in order to help disadvantaged young people realise their full potential and develop crucial life skills and self-belief. We do this through three targeted programmes:

  • National Orchestra for All (NOFA) – which gives young people from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the opportunity to join the only free, non-auditioned, mixed ability national youth orchestra in the UK. Over a nine-month season they come together to learn, create and perform music. 

  • Modulo – which provides the support and resources to enable under-resourced schools and community groups to run ensembles (‘Modulos’), regardless of musical skill level or instruments available. The national and regional meetings we arrange give the individual Modulos opportunities to meet and perform together as larger-scale orchestras. 

  • Conductors for Change (CFC) – which offers a modular training programme for early-career music teachers and community music leaders to help them develop their music conducting and leadership skills through practical workshops with mixed ability ensembles and free online tuition.

OFA is unique in its multi-dimensional approach to the problem of access for our beneficiaries. We tackle all kinds of barriers: logistical, financial, geographical, personal and cultural. Our combination of in and out of school music education activity, operating at school, community, regional and national level, is rare. So too is our focus on secondary, rather than primary school age players with complex lives; as well as our belief that starting a musical instrument relatively late – after the age of 11 or even much later – can still have huge benefits musically, socially and in terms of personal well-being.

To find out more about the work of Orchestras for All, take a look at our 2016-2017 Impact Report which outlines our key achievements for our most recent season of work and our impact on young musicians and music teachers across the UK.

Who are we looking for?

We work with young musicians who have shown dedication and commitment to music-making, and are looking for dedicated and committed individuals to help us shape the future of our organisation. Specifically, we are looking for individuals with expertise in the following areas:

  • Advocacy
  • Campaigning
  • Media / PR
  • Marketing
  • Diversity
  • Equal opportunities
  • Arts sector connections
  • Finance
  • Accounting

Out of the three positions, we are looking to recruit a treasurer trustee onto our board. A separate treasurer role description is available on request from the Orchestras for All team.

What does the role involve?

The role of a trustee is to:

  • Ensure Orchestras for All is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
  • Ensure compliance with governing document and the law
  • Act in charity’s best interests
  • Ensure the organisation is managing resources responsibly (duty of prudence)
  • Act with reasonable care and skill
  • Ensure Orchestras for All is accountable

We also hope you will be passionate about music and the arts, fervent in your desire to give young people access to music regardless of their personal circumstances, and convinced of the impact music can have on young people’s wider lives.

Remuneration: This is a volunteer role and as such will not be salaried.

Expenses: Expenses will be paid of reasonable costs for travel and other expenditure incurred whilst acting on behalf of Orchestras for All, including travelling to attend regional events.

Meetings and time commitment: Trustee meetings are held every six-eight weeks in Central London, usually between 5-7pm. There are half-day and full-day meetings occasionally as and when needed for the development of strategy or significant plans. We expect this to happen no more than twice a year.

Additional time outside of meetings will be required for fundraising, networking, making introductions, reviewing policies and plans and meeting with OFA’s leadership team. Trustees will be expected to attend key events throughout the year such as the final performance at the end of the NOFA Summer Course each July and the annual fundraiser, Musical Chairs.

How do I apply?

Please send a covering letter (no more than two sides) outlining what you feel you can contribute to the work of Orchestras for All and why you would like to join our board. You are warmly invited to meet the OFA leadership team and members of the board at our fundraising event – Musical Chairs – on from 4pm on Saturday 24 February 2018. Should you be unable to attend, please contact the team to arrange for an alternative time to speak to the OFA team.

The closing date is Friday 2 March 2018, after which point we will be holding informal interviews with prospective candidates in March.

How do I find out more or register my interest?

Thank you so much for your interest in your role. Please contact Executive Director Stuart Burns at or on 0207 267 4141 to find out more about the role and to register your interest.

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