Songhaven was launched in early 2017 by operatic mezzo-soprano and event producer Vivien Conacher. Vivien wanted to provide a space where people living with dementia (including carers and companions) could come together and enjoy professional afternoon concerts in a joyous and welcoming atmosphere. She also wanted to give classically-trained artists paid performance opportunities that were relaxed, fun, and would expand their skills and repertoire.
The monthly Songhaven Concert Series was first launched in Bloomsbury and quickly gained a large and loyal audience following in the London Borough of Camden and beyond. A second monthly concert series was launched in 2018 at St Paul’s Knightsbridge and also grew steadily in popularity. The most recent venue partnership is with Holy Sepulchre London, the National Musician’s Church in the City of London borough.
Following numerous requests to bring the Songhaven concert experience to care homes and, soprano Nazan Fikret joined the team in 2019 to launch and facilitate the Songhaven Care Concerts scheme, which received rave reviews from care home staff and residents alike.
The Covid-19 pandemic put a pause on our in-person concerts and care home performances, but with the help of grants from Camden Giving, Meeting Needs, the Wesleyan Foundation, and The National Lottery Community Fund, Songhaven was able to launch Songhaven at Home, a FREE online collection of 30 minute concert films (with accompanying printable programmes) recorded at Songhaven’s live concert events. Songhaven at Home aims to bring the joy of our professional concerts to care homes, hospitals, community centres, and families shielding at home, at a time when live concerts & performance visits were not possible. The films have received over 16,000 views.
We now have returned to live & in-person concerts and we will also continue to regularly send out new Songhaven at Home concert films via email to all our subscribers. To receive our event announcements & Songhaven at Home films, please subscribe to our email newsletter HERE – do keep an eye on your inbox (and your junk mail folder just in case)!
SONGHAVEN’S LIVE CONCERTS
Songhaven is founded on the belief that people living with dementia (including carers and companions) deserve the dignity of high-quality live music experiences in a relaxed, inclusive, and joyous atmosphere. To achieve this mission, we organise numerous dementia-friendly live events throughout the year – all featuring professional classically-trained artists. These live events include:
- The SONGHAVEN CONCERT SERIES – free monthly concerts in London featuring professional classically-trained artists. CLICK HERE FOR FAQs & TESTIMONIALS
- SONGHAVEN CARE CONCERTS – a scheme to bring solo performance visits by professional classically-trained musicians to care homes and community centres. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
- COLLABORATIVE SPECIAL EVENTS with opera companies, community groups, and arts organisations – these bespoke experiences have included dementia-friendly singing workshops, opera gala nights, door-stop concerts, and garden performances often marking special awareness days, festivals or celebrations. Please email email@example.com to enquire about any bespoke collaborative projects!
OUR CORE VALUES
- Professional Excellence – in the calibre of musicians we work with, the preparation put into each concert programme, the running of our events on the day, and the audio/visual quality of our digital offerings.
- Inclusion – proactively creating spaces where people at risk of exclusion and social isolation (including people living with dementia, older people, and carers) feel welcomed on a regular basis into a caring community.
- Joy – fostered through quality music-making, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and presentation style, and our social post-concert afternoon teas.
- Connection – artists are encouraged to mingle and interact with the audience during live performances, as well as during the post-concert afternoon tea, volunteers of all ages are on hand to engage with attendees throughout the event, and to seek feedback and music requests.
- Participation – Songhaven’s live events (including live-streamed concerts) always include interactive moments – such as singalongs, movement, dancing, and clapping – active participation is encouraged throughout the concert!
- Dignity & Respect – our artists, volunteers, and audience members are treated with respect and dignity, and viewed as equals. Every Songhaven event is designed to show every person involved that they are valued, and to embody our belief that everyone deserves the best possible experience at Songhaven!