Orchestral Connections 2023: Health and Wellbeing


Health and Wellbeing

Wednesday 20 September 2023
9am–10.30am (UK)

Orchestras have always made a significant contribution to their communities through programs that enhance health and wellbeing. Working in a variety of settings, orchestral activities can positively impact both the physical and mental health of people of all ages and stages. Orchestral Connections 2023 will examine some of the best programs currently offered in the UK and Australia, with speakers from Orchestra Victoria, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony orchestra and West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

But what of the musicians themselves? How is their health and wellbeing impacted by the work they do and how can orchestras support them in ensuring a long and healthy career? Our speakers explore the ways orchestras can contribute to positive mental and physical health in the workplace.



Laura Waters

Head of Arts
University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

Laura Waters is Head of Arts for University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, leading the Air Arts team to provide high quality artistic and cultural experiences for staff, patients and visitors across eleven hospital sites. With an MSc in Environmental Psychology and an LRSM in Music Performance, Laura combines these two areas of expertise in her work and is particularly interested in how environment impacts recovery and wellbeing in hospitals.  

As co-chair for the National Arts in Hospitals Network, Laura leads on national arts in health projects and promotes arts in hospitals throughout the UK and internationally. 

Laura is a Trustee for the Association of British Orchestras Trust and a member of the Orchestras in Healthcare steering group, supporting and training orchestral musicians to work in hospital settings. 


Zoë Armfield

Head of Learning
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s mission is to “Enhance & Transform Lives through Music”. Now in her 15th year at the organisation, Zoë leads the music education, talent development, social action and health programs, reaching over 60,000 people each year. Zoë is passionate about the power of music to improve wellbeing, encourage recovery, and improve life chances, with diversity and inclusion central to all program. Zoe works closely with NHS Trusts, schools, higher education institutions, community groups, artists, arts organisations, donors and funders, delivering award-winning, impactful and long-term partnerships.

Photo by Nicole Marshall

Jacinta Ewers

General Manager
Orchestra Victoria

Jacinta Ewers has over a decade of professional experience in arts management, including working with Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Youth Orchestras and the City of Casey. Jacinta joined Orchestra Victoria in 2021 and was appointed as General Manager in April 2023.

She has completed a Graduate Diploma in Management (Arts & Culture) at the University of South Australia, a Diploma of Business (Governance) from the Institute of Community Directors Australia and undertaken an Arts & Cultural Management Program as part of the Sibelius Academy, University of Helsinki.

A passionate musician and conductor in her spare time, Jacinta graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Adelaide, and has worked as a Music Director for a number of community ensembles across Melbourne. Jacinta strives to lead with transparency, compassion and empathy, and enjoys supporting others to enable them to perform at their best.

Lisa Rodio

Strategic Partnerships and Special Projects Producer
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Lisa Rodio is Strategic Partnerships and Special Projects Producer at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra where she has been a member of the Community and Education team for nine years. With specialisms in disability, and arts and health, Lisa has experience devising and delivering a wide range of learning projects within all manner of educational, community and site-specific settings – from prisons and hospitals to schools and museums. Lisa has led on the design and delivery of STROKESTRA®, the Orchestra’s award-winning music and stroke rehabilitation program with the National Health Service, since its initial conception.

Alena Tompkins

Executive Manager, Community Engagement
West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Alena Tompkins’ arts career started as a lighting designer and drama teacher, before extending into community engagement at Black Swan State Theatre Company as Education and Community Access Manager. It was here that she found a real passion for arts engagement across both metropolitan and regional WA, travelling extensively all over the vast state, engaging communities and students in theatre. After a short break from the arts at SciTech as Public Programs Coordinator, she returned to the performing arts world, joining the executive team at West Australian Symphony Orchestra in 2020. In her spare time Alena loves attending live performance, travelling, crocheting and thrifting vintage clothing.

Mark Bain

Tutti Trumpet
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Mark Bain, a classical trumpet player from Adelaide, earned his Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours at the Australian National University School of Music in Canberra. He continued his musical journey in Germany, studying as a guest student at the University for Music and the Performing Arts in Frankfurt.

Since 2011, Mark has served as Tutti Trumpet for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, having previously held the position of 2nd Trumpet with Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand in 2009. His musical ventures have taken him across Europe, the Middle East, and Australasia, collaborating with esteemed orchestras and ensembles from around the world.

Marks dedication to music education shines through in his current roles at the University of Tasmania School of Creative Arts and Media, the Australian Music Examinations Board, and since 2022 as a board member with the Tasmanian Youth Orchestras. In 2019, Mark launched his business Performance Under Pressure, a coaching and public speaking venture aimed at helping aspiring musicians achieve lasting success by honing their practice and performance skills. Leveraging insights from cognitive science, motivation theory, psychology of music performance anxiety, and peak performance psychology, Mark empowers musicians to thrive in the spotlight.

Last updated 27/9/2023 © Symphony Services International