String trio break their silence to bring classics to patients

A local string trio from 'The Instruments of Time and Truth' orchestra came back together to entertain staff and patients in the garden at City Community Hospital

String trio break their silence to bring classics to patients

A group of Oxford musicians from the orchestra ‘The Instruments of Time and Truth’ put on a special concert for staff and patients in the garden at City Community Hospital as part of the Creating with Care programme.

Three string musicians Jean Paterson, Vanessa McNaught and Gabriel Amherst, played music written by their favourite composers Purcell, Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert.

This was the first time the group had performed together after many months of enforced lockdown silence, since the group began in 2014.

Used to performing in big concert halls like Dorchester Abbey and collaborations with Oxford College choirs, the string trio wanted to play more intimate pieces meant for music-making in the home, so they could play as close to staff and patients as safely possible.

Patients were able to listen from their rooms and some were able to come out with staff to get a little closer to the musicians who played in the garden area.

(Left to right) Jean Paterson (violin), Vanessa McNaught (viola) and Gabriel Amherst (cello)

Jean Paterson from the group wrote a message to be shared with patients: “We are so happy to be playing together again, having not been able to do so for so long. Having an audience to play to means a great deal to us.

“Making music together is one of the deepest forms of communication, and we hope that you will feel that we are communicating with you as you listen.”

The Creating with Care programme, supported by the Oxford Health Charity, brings events to community hospital wards to enhance patient experience and boost a sense of wellbeing.

This performance was given for free as a test, with the group aiming to organise a series of concerts to all Oxford Health community hospitals.

Christine Hayden, manager at City Community Hospital said: “It was a real treat and privilege for staff and patients to hear the wonderful uplifting music in the garden.

“There were lots of smiles and the performers and the audience of patients, visitors and staff together reflected that it was a very emotional experience to hear live music once more.”

Angela Conlan, arts co-ordinator for the programme who organised the concert said: “We are looking forward to bringing more music, dance and arts to the hospitals which really boosts morale for staff and patients.”

Julie Pink, Community Involvement Manager for the Oxford Health Charity, said: “We are working closely with Creating with Care so that we can bring more performances like this to other Oxford Health community hospitals in the future.”

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Published: 23 July 2020