How ActewAGL and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra are bringing music to the community

Headshot of Emma Rayner with a cello

Music has the power to uplift, inspire and improve the wellbeing of all. For the elderly or those that experience hearing difficulties, connecting to music can dramatically enrich quality of life.

With a longstanding partnership with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the ACT’s leading energy provider ActewAGL is a key supporter of its community initiatives that tap into the therapeutic benefits of music.

Rediscovering Music: Where music and healthcare align

Conceived and led by audiologist and bassoonist Kristen Sutcliffe, Rediscovering Music is an incredible program of interactive chamber music concerts for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants. For a decade, Sutcliffe’s Rediscovering Music has served as a rehabilitative experience that helps participants reconnect with and enjoy music by exploring the range and timbre of particular instruments.

September’s Rediscovering Music sessions included performances by Sutcliffe and CSO cellist Emma Rayner (pictured), who is also an audiologist.

In cooperation with Better Hearing Australia Canberra, ActewAGL is supporting the CSO to sustain and grow this vital program and is committed to its responsibilities to enrich the lives of the Canberra community.

Emma Rayner playing the cello. There is an ActewAGL banner in the background.
The uplifting power of live performance

[blockquote author=”Zoë Loxley Slump, CSO musician”]

Performing in aged care facilities was completely unlike any other concert experience I’ve ever had. The environment is so intimate that the audience’s responses to the music were as much a part of the event as the music was.

It is clear that few of the audience had regular access to live music, and their delight was beautiful. I believe this sense of connection is what music is all about.


For many of Canberra’s elderly, life in a care home or residence can be lonely, with a disconnection from cultural experiences. To bring the joy of music to residents and staff, ActewAGL has helped facilitate the deployment of small chamber ensembles into Mountain View Aged Care Centre, George Forbes House and Heritage Queanbeyan Aged Care homes.

Across six intimate concerts, CSO musicians Doreen Cumming (Principal Second Violin), Samuel Payne (Cello), Rowan Phemister (Harp), Zoë Loxley Slump (Oboe) and Yona Su (Viola) performed for over 200 residents and staff, delighting audiences with a selection of classics.

As COVID restrictions have lifted and concerts have been allowed to take place once more, 2022 has been a remarkable year for the CSO. The need to connect through the pleasure of music has never been greater.

ActewAGL continues to value its close relationship with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and will be supporting future initiatives that bring pleasure to the local community and help them LIVE a Good Life.

ActewAGL is a CSO Community Partner

Related Articles

Skip to content