Tessa Cavanna has been working with OCM since April 2021, closely knitted into the OCM team, creating and producing some really brilliant projects. This is her description of her time with us thus far:


At first I didn’t quite know what to expect. Having spent my working life as an artist and musician part-time along side waitressing and hospitality jobs, I had never interviewed for a job like what OCM was offering, and a part of me didn’t even really know that these jobs in the arts existed.

The application process was really accessible. I heard about the opportunity through a friend and music facilitator, who was asked to reach out to people in the music community who might suit the job. I found the application very easy to navigate with the option of either written or filmed answers. The interview was very good, too. As it was Covid times, the Interviews where via zoom, but I felt that both Vic and Jo at OCM did a great job of fitting around my then work schedule for me to be able to attend an interview. I didn’t feel that I wasn’t able to do the job because I hadn’t studied music or worked in an office before, and OCM made me feel very welcome and where very thoughtful in the way I was welcomed into the organisation and given the training I needed to be able to do my job with confidence.

My starting role at OCM was assistant Producer, and I was able to learn to many new and exciting things, as well as realising that I could apply a lot of my own knowledge from other jobs to this new role. I am so grateful for the wonderful team of people at OCM for making me feel so welcome and a valued part of the team. Since being with OCM a year, Jo was able to secure enough funding to keep me on another year, with a new title as Producer and Community Learning. It feels amazing to find a job like this (especially as it’s in music) after so many years of thinking I wouldn’t be able to work in any other industry except hospitality. It’s been amazing to learn how many skills we learn that are transferable and what a difference it makes to feel like a valued part of a co-operative team!

Since starting at OCM I have noticed my productivity has increased and I’ve been able to make time for my own music in a way that I wasn’t able to before. Being so closely linked to music in all aspects of my working day means that I am around music more and so I think about it and I create more, as a result. Since working at OCM I’m proud to say I’ve produced one live show (Digging Crates); assisted on several projects (Handle with care- Elliot Galvin, Christmas Lights Festival-Thomas Page Dances, Playing the curriculum- Max Reinhardt, Dido’s Bar – DASH arts); created and strengthened a few connections with different youth leaders, music facilitators and community figures in Oxford; and had the privilege to learn and receive support from each member of the OCM team.

Since the opportunity from Jerwood by way of OCM came to me, I’ve been recommending it to all my working artist friends! It’s been so liberating and empowering to have found a job like this. Thank you Western Jerwood and OCM for giving me this opportunity!