Musical Connections manager steps down after 13 years

A project manager for a charity in York is set to step down after more than 13 years of serving the people of the city.

Fiona Chapman has announced that she will be stepping down from day-to-day management of Musical Connections, having led the project since its inception.

Fiona started Musical Connections in 2009, seeking to improve the lives of residents of York City Council care homes. Since then, she has worked with a committed team to develop and expand the project, now leading 10 weekly music groups and choirs for vulnerable and isolated people across the city.

Over the past year, the charity has worked with over 200 people and supported almost 20 others who were unable to resume music sessions after Covid-19. They also included over 250 children and young people in additional intergenerational events.

Going forward, Fiona will take a much-needed break to spend more time with her family and will hand over management responsibilities for the Musical Connections project to Abigail Hall and Charlotte Yandell – two musicians who have been dedicated members of the team for several years. .

The couple said they were both fully committed to the project and, during the closures, took on additional responsibilities and developed new skills to ensure the charity was able to meet the challenges of Covid-19.

To celebrate the handover, the musicians and members of Musical Connections gathered on Friday July 22 for an afternoon of music at Marjorie Waite Court.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “It was a wonderful opportunity for the charity’s music groups to come together and really capture the special nature of the Musical Connections family.”

The chariry team also received an award from York CVS for their continued work throughout the pandemic.

Abigail and Charlotte, along with the directors and musicians of Musical Connections, said they now look forward to the future development of the charity and are very focused on seeing it continue to thrive in a post-pandemic environment. To facilitate a smooth transition, Fiona will continue to mentor Abigail and Charlotte, and provide financial support and grant writing. She will also join the Board of Directors in September.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Musical Connections team has been in frequent contact with over 60 of its most isolated members to offer support while their music groups are suspended due to government restrictions.

For those who can access the internet, they launched a regular Facebook Live slot at 11 a.m. on Wednesday mornings – and they also explored using Zoom for a virtual community.

Anyone wishing to get involved with the group can contact them on 01903 373011 or [email protected]