Members of the Baroque Choir and music charity, Armonico Consort, led by TV presenter, wine expert and singer Oz Clarke, sang for residents, visitors and staff at Chestnut Court in Quedgeley. The group visited the care home, run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), as part of a fundraising bike tour challenge to raise money for Memory Singers choirs for people living with dementia.
The musicians entertained the community at Chestnut Court with Armonico’s trademark mix of beautiful baroque music, well-known songs, inspiring rhythms and irreverent fun. They encouraged listeners including residents who live with dementia to join in with singing, clapping and playing percussion instruments.
Ruth Jeffries, Activities Co-ordinator at Chestnut Court, said: “We were delighted to be treated to a concert by Oz Clarke and Armonico Consort. Our residents loved the performance and singing along. Music plays a special role in sparking memories and providing connection, especially for those living with dementia. Thank you to the Choir for choosing Chestnut Court.”
Resident Ron said: “It was wonderful! Such a surprise, and such a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Weren’t they good? They played lots of old favourites and the singing was beautiful.”
Resident Betty said: “Brilliant! It was nice to get up and sing.”
“The transformational effect of music is incredible, especially on people living with dementia,” said Oz Clarke, himself a former professional singer. “When we arrive, the place is silent and when we leave, we’re leaving a party. Music seems to stay in people’s minds when much else has been lost. That’s the reason we’re cycling 200 miles for a fifth successive year.”
Armonico Consort’s bike team are cycling 200 miles and climbing 10,000ft during their challenge which takes them from Armonico’s base in Warwick, via the ‘Three Choirs’ of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester, and then on to Wells Cathedral in Somerset.
Their aim is to raise £20,000 to set up more Memory Singers choirs for people living with dementia and their carers. Find out more here: www.armonico.org.uk/bike2023