What is a community? For the Symphony Of Life Foundation, the 'community' is the critical fundamental, and the delivery point of all Symphony For Life programs. All music traditionally comes out of the community – from teachers at schools, community based bands, churches, choirs and orchestras, and music teachers in the community – all are based there – in fact all musicians started in the community!
For the Symphony For Life program, we extend the meaning of a ‘community’ to be any one, or combination of the following: a school, community group, community organisation, community music centre, major music organisation (e.g. a symphony orchestra), an after-school program centre, music education provider, charitable institution, university music school, membership organisation, an active volunteer group, and/or, a government institution.
In short, any appropriate group or institution that wants to run a Symphony For Life program, is treated as a community, and can be supported as such. All that will be needed is an MOU setting out the terms of agreement for support of such a program. The MOU is an agreement on behalf of the Symphony For Life Foundation to provide the following: Administration of the overall program, paid and fully trained teaching artists (contracted employees of Symphony For Life Foundation), other music tutors as required, all instruments and music, the program curriculum, and all other orchestra/choir resource materials.
The community will provide the following (including any associated costs): Children, a committee organisation or other suitable governance structure to support the program, enrollment and attendance records, a suitable venue to run the program, volunteers to assist with the program and concerts, concert venue(s), transportation for the children where required, access to the children’s programs for research and monitoring of performance, and access for sponsor visits.
Parent and Community support groups This is a very important part of the Symphony For Life programs - for more about this and how to become involved, click here!
Community selection and engagement Communities can either be selected by the Symphony For Life Foundation or organisations can approach Symphony For Life Foundation to run a program for their community. For all new programs, it is our goal to select communities where disadvantage is a significant feature. Disadvantage may be socioeconomic or it may be geographic – or even both. Our programs must go to these children particularly, wherever they are. Please note that we can only take new programs on if there is sufficient funds able to be raised for it to run sustainably into the future.
Tendering for communities Where the area is a large community, several points within the community may be approached and invited to ‘tender’ for the program – in reality all of the community will be served and supported but it’s necessary to give the role of running and supporting the program to the group with the best ability to run it properly. The ‘tender’ is also a process of awakening the excitement and passion needed within the community, and to gather a number of very interested and committed people together. Regardless of who is the chosen group, all engaged by this process will have the opportunity to assist in the final program. The need for numbers of supporting volunteers is great in the first instance and then ongoing too.
Selection process The criterion for selection of a community group is based upon three main conditions:
Passion and commitment to deliver a great program to the children
Professional ability and their capacity to support the program
Their support from local institutions and their community
The Administration team will manage the selection process, and the Board of Symphony For Life Foundation will make the final selection and appointment. The administration team will review the initial applications, evaluate against the criterion, interview the prospective groups, and come up with a recommendation and presentation to the Board. The Administration team will then contact all of the participants and provide information to all, including the selected group as to the oncoming process.