The Academy was founded as much to promote the values that underpin sacred music (to a new generation), as to restore its impact on the wider culture. This is reflected in the development of a charitable programme that aims to encourage students to give of themselves. For example, members of the Choir of the Academy have already performed for, and spent time with, destitute children and adults (including orphaned children), in Romania, thanks to a partnership with Epiphany Trust, an international children’s charity.
As part of a wider tour of Romania - during which the Choir performed at the prestigious Brasov School of Music - students had the opportunity to visit Valea Screzii, home to the Pro-Vita Foundation (a community north of the capital, Bucharest) that cares for abandoned children and destitute adults. A member of the Academy Choir was so inspired by this trip that he subsequently returned to Romania to work at an orphanage supported by Epiphany Trust.
(Images of Valea Screzii – including an image of a small section of the Choir performing for some of the residents at the Pro-Vita Orphanage/Refuge).
The Academy has since established a formal Charity Programme to facilitate the direct engagement of students in this form of work, to the benefit of orphaned children, refugees, the elderly, homeless people and other vulnerable groups, both at home and abroad.
With existing links to charities in 7 separate countries, including the U.K., Romania, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Burma, India and Haiti, the Academy will be offering the widest range of opportunities for its students to develop and nurture a spirit of service, consonant with the values underpinning the Academy.
The Academy has also developed a tradition of raising funds, through all of its concerts, for the work of local, national and international charities – to date, beneficiary charities have included: L’Arche (for work with adults who have learning-disabilities; Christian Aid (victims of the Haiti Earthquake), Epiphany Trust (orphaned children) and SCIAF (famine victims in the Horn of Africa).