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 full symphony orchestra concert due to issues with access, and is presented by Healthway, promoting the Act-Belong-Commit positive mental health message.

The next CONNECT is 9am Friday 13 October, 2017 at Perth Concert Hall. Participants will be provided with morning tea before the rehearsal, followed by a short welcome and talk about the music before they enter the Auditorium.

WASO works closely with the Perth Concert Hall management to ensure that all aspects of the CONNECT program are sympathetic to the needs of the community groups who attend. Over 40 participants from seven different disability support organisations attended the first CONNECT on Friday 25 August. In 2018, CONNECT will expand to include additional targeted sectors.

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

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

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

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