Fernhill News

BSO musicians share their love of music with care home residents

Residents from three Dorset care homes enjoyed their own intimate performance by musicians from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

Dedicated dementia home The Aldbury launched the fundraiser to support Forest Holme Hospice in Poole.

French horn and piano player Kevin Pritchard and violinist Jenni Curiel visited the Colten Care residents as part of the care group’s celebrations for World Music Day 2022.

The performance had been due to take place alongside a picnic at Poole Park. But after rain was forecast, residents of Colten’s dedicated dementia home Fernhill in Ferndown and Abbey View in Sherborne joined with residents at the company’s newest home Bourne View, in Poole.

The musicians led the audience through a stunning one-hour set which included popular pieces by Schubert and Tchaikovsky, as well as hit songs from the 1960s and a medley of Cole Porter classics. 

Kevin said: “We’ve played at many Colten Care homes and always receive a wonderful welcome. “Bourne View is an exceptionally beautiful home and performing a summer concert for so many residents together, on the picturesque roof garden level was perfect.”

Jenni agreed: “Everyone was swaying, tapping their toes or clapping and afterwards Kevin and I were lucky to be introduced to some very talented Colten residents, including Doris, a former opera singer and Frank and Myrtle, who are both talented pianists.

“We chatted about their past performances and their love of playing, as well as their favourite composers. It was fascinating to hear them speak and to hear Doris’s beautiful voice.”

Former opera singer and now Fernhill resident Doris ‘Dorrie’ Smith, said: “I really enjoyed joining in. I am 92 now but when I hear the music, I still can’t help but sing. It was fabulous.”

Myrtle Smith, a resident of Bourne View and talented pianist, was an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in her younger years and is currently rehearsing for a Colten Care concert this summer.

She said: “I cannot tell you how happy listening to the musicians made me feel. Music is still a huge part of my life even though I am 94. I loved their choice of pieces and would only ask for more Beethoven please! He is my favourite composer.”

Frank Campbell has been playing piano since he was 10 years old and has a piano in his room at Fernhill, which he still plays regularly.

He said: “I very much enjoyed the concert and identifying the music they played.”

John Taylor of Abbey View added: “What a wonderful afternoon. Perfect!”

World Music Day is celebrated annually and encourages people to share the free gift of music. The event originated in France as Fete de la Musique in 1982 and is now marked across the globe. 

Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner said: “Music is a huge part of life at all our homes and it is always wonderful to welcome BSO musicians and to see the joy and reminiscence their playing  evokes in our residents. 

“Today, as always, people were keen to talk about their favourite pieces, their own musical memories and of course to ask the musicians when they will be performing for us again!”


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