Programmes Manager, Patrick Shepherd, writes about his experience at OMF over the last 4 years.
At OMF, our projects are more than just music programmes; they're a blend of community, creativity, and collaboration. As I say goodbye to my role as Programmes Manager, I reflect on the extraordinary journey and the moments I've been privileged to be a part of. I couldn't recommend a job, a team, and a community more.
A particularly wonderful part of my job has been the variety of projects. In this role, I've organised weekly sessions in SEND school, four choirs, 125 children learning musical instruments, and much more! There's never a dull moment during an OMF week.
One of our most heartwarming projects has been the establishment of the OMF Orchestra, encompassing both the Children's and Parents' Orchestras. Every Saturday, Manchester Museum transforms into a rehearsal room.
Simultaneously, the Parents Orchestra offers a unique platform for parents to explore music alongside their children. This setup has been super successful last term and I'm so excited to see their spring term concert.
Unleashing Creativity: Composition and Beyond
Launching the Composition Project remains a highlight of my time at OMF. We provided six children an opportunity to delve into music composition, mentored by me and Balraj Samrai. The project culminated in a performance at the RNCM with head of composition, Larry Goves. We're taking on another 6 children next year and I can't wait to hear what they make.
OMF Families and Community
A significant aspect of my role involved engaging with our families. The connections formed during the evening music lessons are such an amazing part of the job. There is a beautiful family community at OMF and it's been my pleasure to be part of it.
A Team Like No Other
Working alongside incredible freelance teachers and our core team has been a joy. The camaraderie and collective dedication to OMF have been amazing. I've made so many lifelong friends in the job and I'm going to miss them very much.
Music and Mountains
The 'Music and Mountains' initiative in Betws y Coed was a wonderful experience. This residential course provided a unique backdrop for our children to grow as musicians and individuals, and it was great to experience their appreciation for the natural world. This was another great highlight of my time at OMF.
Crafting Your Path
At OMF, there's ample scope to create and lead projects. My involvement with the Journeys Festival International back in 2020 was a great project, and each collaboration brings something new and interesting. I enjoyed supporting our children at Noah's Flood in Manchester and Leeds with Manchester Collective. I am also looking forward to seeing the fruits of a collaboration with Manchester Museum in June.