In celebration of our 75th anniversary our President, operatic baritone Sir Thomas Allen CBE, shares his reflections since becoming involved with the charity in 2005.
Many years ago I became aware of how music could affect people and offer solace at crucial stages in lives affected by mental and physical illness. My mother and aunt were both diagnosed with dementia in their seventies and both had enjoyed and been involved with music in one way or another throughout their lives.
Now they had arrived at a time when it was the only feature they could recognise from earlier life experience. My aunt could sing along with me, remembering the words when all other means of contact were lost to her. Then an invitation came to me to work with Music in Hospitals & Care. Obviously this was something I had to do.
I remember one particular day at a hospital in Surrey, a young woman was wheeled into the ward in her bed. She was clearly very ill and had not communicated with any of the nursing staff for several days. Hearing live music from a singer standing by her bed brought a look to her face that I had never seen before nor since. The atmosphere in that small ward became so very different that I can’t begin to describe it. If I had wondered before, I now saw proof of the worth of what Music in Hospitals & Care offers to those most in need of a light in their lives.
I am proud to have been connected to the charity over many years and intend that to be the case for as long as they will have me. Music most certainly ‘hath charms to soothe the savage breast’, but so much more besides.
Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.