Julian West, Head of Open Academy, our community and participation department, will begin work on a new piece of research with the Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory at the University of West London. He is a creative lead in a nationwide study, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, that will test how music and art can alleviate social isolation and loneliness while boosting wellbeing in dementia patients during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

This project will be conducted in 40 care homes across the UK, focusing especially on areas of socio-economic deprivation and among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic populations. You can find out more on the UK Research and Innovation website. We will keep you updated on Julian’s progress.

Twenty: Music for Piano was launched this week. The album of new music was created and recorded during lockdown and features several Academy alumni, including the project curator Robin Haigh. Find out more about Twenty on their website.

One of our favourite videos this week comes from Tony Woollard, a teacher in our Junior Academy, who has arranged the complete Mozart Requiem for multi-part cello.

To mark what would have been the start of the Olympics last week, Academy alumni Slide Action teamed up with fellow trombone ensemble Chicago Thunder Chops to record John Williams’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme.

Academy Musical Theatre alumnus Lawrence Smith was joined by friends and several alumni to present a beautifully crafted online charity gig, which features a cover performance of the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours.

It has been a joy to watch the Kanneh-Mason family live streams from their home over the past few months. They finished their series on a high with a performance of Schubert’s Ave Maria last week.