The project involved working with BSO musicians and a group of local pre-school children in a series of sessions; incorporating singing songs, conducting each other and improvising as well as sharing stories.

Though Arthur had no previous musical experience, working as a bricklayer for much of his life; he relished the opportunity to try his hand at conducting, saying ‘I like to join in things, that’s my way of living’.

A natural from the start, Arthur loved Eine kleine Nachtmusik, enjoyed listening to the violin, and had a flair for conducting. Along with his assistant conductor, 102-year-old fellow care home resident Norah, Arthur now regularly conducts The Musical Cavaliers, a group formed of residents, families, care home staff, and children.



The birthday celebration was a bustling event populated by other care home residents, family, local children, BSO musicians (and even a few dogs!) with much music being enjoyed by all.  It was lovely to mark this special occasion with Arthur and to witness how taking part in music has had such a positive impact on his life, as well as the lives of many other residents, children and families.

Even Arthur’s family was surprised by his new musical endeavour, his son Colin saying ‘I wasn’t aware of it… it came sort of like a bolt out of the blue that they were organising this Cavaliers event because he enjoys conducting and yeah, it’s quite amazing’.

Hugh Nankivell, one of the organisers of the project remarked ‘As soon as you get these groups of people together, playing music, you kind of realise that there’s that energy and spirit in music making’.

You can hear Arthur talking about the experience on BBC Radio 4 (at 27 mins in) and on BBC News Online

For more information about the work of BSO Participate click here