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117 %
raised of £10,000 target
by 98 supporters
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London Symphony Orchestra

Team LSO

We are abseiling from "The Cheesegrater" for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal because music changes lives!

117 %
raised of £10,000 target
by 98 supporters
  • Team members: Kathryn McDowell, Clare Duckworth
  • Event: Lord Mayor's Appeal Abseil Challenge, 08 Sep 2017
  • Team: LSO

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal

We Pls use acc The Lord Mayor's Appeal 2018 to Pls use acc The Lord Mayor's Appeal 2018

Charity Registration No. 1148976


On Friday 8th September, 100 daring souls will abseil from the top of The Leadenhall Building. The Leadenhall Building aka ‘The Cheesegrater’ is the tallest building in the City of London, and an abseil has only taken place at the building once before. They will be raising funds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which in 2017 will support LSO Discovery, St Paul’s Cathedral Music Outreach, and Music in Hospitals.

A London Symphony Orchestra team of Kathryn McDowell (Managing Director) and Clare Duckworth (sub-Principal first violin, and vice-Chair) will be among the first to take part in the abseil on the morning of Friday 8th September.

Please dig deep and sponsor this brave and breathtaking endeavour. Every pound of sponsorship will help to support a groundbreaking project, ensuring that more young people are able to experience the joy of music .

To find out more about the Appeal and beneficiaries, please visit 

From Kathryn McDowell 

"Over the last decade, I have seen the transformative effect that the LSO's Discovery programme has on young people, often taking them from shy retiring children to confident, communicative young adults, ready to face the challenges of the modern world. Research shows that as well as increasing musical ability and understanding, making music enhances personal skills such as memory and creativity, and life skills including teamwork , self-confidence and motivation. 

The programme includes an open access choral programme, side-by-side instrumental projects wtih LSO players, creative workshops for young people in schools and hospitals and guided full orchestral concerts for school pupils at all levels, and the 60,000 people it reaches every year come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. Through inspiring musical experiences and insights, support and training, the programme enriches lives and encourages creative interests and skills.

I am delighted (and not a little trepidatious!) to take part in this year's Abseil in order to raise funds for the Lord Mayor's Appeal and through it LSO Discovery. Thank you for supporting me in this challenge. Please dig deep, as every pound will make a real difference to the work we deliver. 

From Clare Duckworth

"Since becoming a member of the LSO I've been involved in such a wide range of Discovery projects, taking me from primary and secondary schools to youth orchestras, working with students at the Guildhall School, teacher training groups, workshopping with young composers, visits to hospital wards, day care centres, special schools, performing Mozart, folk tunes, hip hop, rap .... I've played, sung, danced, improvised, laughed and cried. 

The impact these projects have on those involved is profound. It could be inspiring someone to pick up an instrument and try it for the first time or helping someone develop their musical skills, but there's so much more involved - music making is a team activity and participating at any level can have a massive social impact. Regardless of background or life experience, everyone has a musical voice, and it's an immense privilege to witness someone finding theirs for the first time. 

Anyone involved in LSO Discovery has their own favourite stories of these lightbulb moments - I've seen teachers and classroom assistants watch in awe as a pupil with profound communicational difficulties makes eye contact for the first time that month or gets to their feet and dances when nobody knew they could. I met a young man recovering from serious injuries in hospital who had been given a keyboard to play, had done nothing else for 24 hours, and discovered an incredible natural talent. Wonderful that we found a distraction for him from the boredom of being stuck in a hospital - even better that with ongoing support he may be able to pursue it and turn a difficult period in his life into the beginning of something which could change his whole future. 

Please give generously - I'm so proud of everything that LSO Discovery does, and dangling 200 metres above the London pavement seems the least I can do to draw attention to this fabulous cause."

A huge thank you to all of our offline donors, including Ian Ritchie, Ying Geng, James Richards, Janet Mclean, Stephanie Hughes, Bernhardt Von Spreckelsen, Sir Vernon Ellis, Lynne Williams, Ian & Mercedes Stoutzker, Lady Finch and Graham Biggs of BMW. 


  • Clare and Kathryn - 2 months out from the challenge, and still smiling!



Fundraising team