• Musical project ignites a spark of passion for the Torquay care home resident 
  • Arthur leads a new group for all ages with his Assistant Conductor, 102-year-old Norah
  • He has worked with James Rose, the conductor of disabled-led ensemble BSO Resound

Care home resident Arthur marks his 100th birthday in late-February, when a special musical event will take place. He was settling into life at Bethesda Christadelphian Care Home when a music-based project led by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra ignited a new lease of life.

Arthur and his fellow residents began working with the BSO musicians and a group of local pre-school children in a series of sessions. Alongside BSO Associate, accordionist Hugh Nankivell, the group sang songs, conducted each other, improvised and shared stories.

It soon became apparent that Arthur was a natural: he loved Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; enjoyed listening to the violin; and had a flair for conducting.

Through the BSO he received further training from James Rose, conductor of the disabled-led ensemble BSO Resound. James uses a head-mounted baton and directed BSO Resound in its infamous 2018 BBC Proms debut.

The centenarian now regularly conducts The Musical Cavaliers, a group formed of residents, families, care home staff, and children.  His family and friends will gather to mark his special birthday.

Linda Prain, Wellbeing Assistant at the Bethesda Christadelphian Care Home says, “When Arthur first came to live with us he was reserved and disinclined to join in, however, ‘Making Bridges with Music’ helped to change all that. From the outset Arthur really enjoyed the sessions, he engaged with the children, joined in with the music and has loved conducting the group.  Arthur is now a much more active member of our home joining in with many activities and it is a pleasure to see him enjoy the sessions and engage in the fun.”

Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra says, “Arthur’s story is a wonderful example of the empowering impact of music. It doesn’t matter how old you are or whether you’ve learnt an instrument before; music has the power to be life enhancing for all. It’s why we continue to take music into communities throughout the South West every week of the year, and it’s why audiences come back time and time again to hear the Orchestra in performance.”

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra reached almost 78,000 people last year through its work beyond the concert hall. To learn more about its sessions and workshops for all ages visit bsolive.com


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