Youth disability college perform hit songs to Whitgift House residents

Residents at Whitgift House were treated to stunning performances from ex-students who attended a local specialist arts disability college on Tuesday 21st June.
Ex Orpheus student Jo performing

Jo and Angus who attended The Orpheus College, Godstone, wowed the audience with their singing voices performing popular musical West End theatre songs including Aspects of Love, Les Miserable, Mary Poppins and Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


The performances were interwoven with a talk from Ann Lovelace MBE, a fundraising volunteer at Orpheus, who talked passionately about the work of the College and stories of some of the inspirational students who had each overcome their disability to achieve success in the arts.


Angus, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, has already performed to an impressive list of VIPs, not least HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family at Windsor Castle for the Queen’s 80th Birthday, as well as performing at Glastonbury and The Royal Albert Hall.

Jo, who is visually impaired, is also skilled at playing the drums since the age of 12 and performs in many bands. She performed her ‘Polhill song’ to residents as Polhill Garden Centre is her favourite place to visit. Ann talked of how she helped to raise substantial donations from shoppers when she performed the song at the garden centre.

Set up by musician and songwriter Sir Richard Stilgoe, Orpheus offers learning, supported housing and personal care to young disabled adults passionate about the arts, with the aim for them to achieve their potential and lead independent lives.


Martin Corney, Chief Executive, John Whitgift Foundation, said: “The work of the Orpheus College in supporting young disabled adults achieve success in the arts is truly impressive. Our residents have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ann, Jo, and Angus and how Orpheus has impacted and given the confidence to so many former students to live independently.”


Opened in 1997 at Sir Richard’s family home, Orpheus originally started out educating five young adults and now offers 60 places to students.

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If you would like to find out more about the history of Archbishop John Whitgift and the Foundation he created you can visit our YouTube channel or these pages on the Foundation website: The History of John Whitgift and John Whitgift Foundation History.