About us - Aurora Classroom

A virtuosic chamber orchestra, built of extraordinary musicians.

Aurora Orchestra believes in bringing the richest musical experiences to the broadest possible audience.

Who we are

We are an orchestra that crosses boundaries and takes risks: you will find us regularly presenting whole symphonies from memory, collaborating with dancers, film-makers, designers or circus performers, and performing in nightclubs.

The common thread which links all of this work is simple: we believe in exceptional music for all.

Creating the Toy Box

These resources have grown out of the pioneering live concerts we have developed for young children over the past 10 years. Since 2012, Aurora has collaborated with writer Kate Wakeling and presenter/musician Jessie Maryon Davies to develop Far Far Away, a series of productions each combining the music of a particular composer with a vibrant imaginary world. These productions have seen us meet Beethoven and the Dinosaurs, Bartók and the Pirates, Debussy and the Snow Elephant, Schumann and the Circus, and, of course, Tchaikovsky and the Magical Toy Box. Find out more in this short film presented by BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service.

Aurora Classroom

Seeing the impact this approach to music making can have on young children has led us to create these resources, which hand over all of our ideas, stories and music to teachers and children to explore in their own settings. We are keen to hear from teachers who are using this programme and to continue an ongoing conversation to ensure the work we develop can have the maximum impact on the young people it reaches.

If you’d like to make contact please feel free to send us an email!


We’re so grateful to all the organisations and individuals who have helped us in so many ways to create Aurora Classroom, from grants in support of our artistic and technical costs to in-kind support. We’re particularly grateful to the following key supporters:

  • Garfield Weston Foundation – Weston Culture Fund
  • Signatur – The Karlsson-Játiva Charitable Foundation
  • Arts Council England
  • The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
  • The Nugee Foundation
  • The Radcliffe Trust
  • The Aurora Patrons and Friends
  • Southbank Centre
  • Kings Place Music Foundation

Magical Toy Box Creative Team

The concept of Aurora and the Magical Toy Box has been created and developed by Jane Mitchell, Jessie Maryon Davies and Kate Wakeling.

  • Jane Mitchell
    Creative Director and flute
  • Jessie Maryon Davies
    Presenter, creative consultant and songwriter
  • Kate Wakeling
  • Linton Stephens
  • Sally Pryce
  • Iain Farrington
    Music arranger
  • Stanton Media
  • Patxi del Amo
    Education consultant (SEND)
  • Kate Rattenbury
    Education consultant (EYFS and KS1)
  • Saboteur
    Visual design
  • Kate Wicks
    Production designer
  • Orke Design / Long White Digital / Admataz
    Digital design / development
  • Freya Wynn Jones
    Live show director

Aurora Orchestra Management

  • John Harte
    Chief Executive
  • Jane Mitchell
    Creative Director
  • Rebecca Barnett
    Learning Director
  • Helen Mead and Sarah Lloyd
    Learning Producers
  • Alana Grady
    Senior Concerts Manager
  • Anahita Falaki
    Concerts and Participation Manager
  • Helen McKeown
    Development Manager
  • Harriet Orbell
    Marketing Manager
  • Jane Walker
    Finance Manager
  • Tara Collins
    Orchestra Assistant