“Even though I had some hand-covering and a thumb glove, my fingers were very quickly completely numb such that I couldn’t tell which the C chord on the left hand was!” explains Hugh Nankivell, on trying to play his Hohner accordion in the biting cold temperatures.

As the frosty ‘Beast from the East 2’ winds swept across the Brixham valley outside the dining room window of Laywell House, Hugh played his accordion whilst Clare Parker, a dancer with Dance in Devon, leapt and spun. Together, their efforts brought cheer to dozens of care home residents along the South Devon coast — it was worth the frosty fingers and, thankfully, musician Hugh was able to warm his fingers on a flask between venues.

Paying tribute to the late Christopher Plummer the ‘Arts on Call’ duo included a couple of pieces from The Sound of Music, before ending with ‘You Are My Sunshine’.

“To begin with some of the group were with eyes closed, but then we noticed them tapping hands and moving their mouths and by the end everyone that we could see were smiling and engaging and joining in.”

A partnership project between Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Dance in Devon, the duo travelled along the Devon coast visiting Laywell House, Hill House and Croft House, performing to around a dozen residents at each venue. “The staff were very engaged and made sure that all of the residents in the long dining room engaged with us and supported them by holding their hands and focussing them on us”, Hugh explained.

The project continues next week, as the musical pair travel to Paignton. Whilst the weather outside might be frosty, we’re sure ‘Arts on Call’ will continue to warm many hearts with these visits.

To find out more about the work of BSO Participate click here

To read more about BSO Assoicate Musicinan Hugh Nankivell click here