Orchestra of the Swan’s Artistic Director David Curtis puts on his running shoes for the London Marathon to raise funds for dementia projects

Last year Orchestra of the Swan’s (OOTS) Artistic Director, David Curtis, vowed to take live music to every Care Home in Warwickshire and Worcestershire caring for those living with dementia. In aid of this cause, this year he’ll run the London Marathon to raise funds to enable more OOTS musicians to deliver this activity.

The Virgin Money London Marathon is on April 23 this year, and is a traditional hotspot of charitable activity with many runners dressing up for their chosen good cause. All participants will be running the full 26 miles and 385 yards long course, starting around Blackheath and finally finishing in The Mall alongside St. James’s Park.

OOTS players who contribute to dementia sessions are trained by specialist music therapists from Mindsong to offer the best experience possible, by hearing their favourite music played live. Sessions involve various combinations of instruments such as oboe and viola and include renditions of classical pieces, hymns, folk songs and plenty of well-known songs for people to join in with. Hearing is often the last sense to be affected by dementia, so music becomes increasingly important to those living with this condition.

The orchestra’s commitment to this activity has been a consistent part of its community engagement since 2009 and working with expert therapists from Mindsong has added an integrity and level of awareness that is invaluable to their work in this area.

Matthew Forbes, cello, who delivers workshops to people with Dementia, says: “This needs to happen more. Live music changes people’s mood in a way that nothing else does. It matters, and it matters to us as musicians. Music is magic. It is medicine.”

Please sponsor David to run the 26.2 miles to help OOTS ‘bring light to the dark world of dementia’ on their designated Virgin Money Giving page: ow.ly/bBte30avhPT


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