Charity to take care home residents to festival

Care homes will provide their residents with front row seats during this year’s Buxton International Festival thanks to a charity dedicated to taking live music to people in healthcare.

Music in Hospitals and Care picked the Festival as one of the 70 events chosen nationwide to celebrate its 70th anniversary of using music to raise spirits, reduce stress and bring pleasure to sick and vulnerable adults, children and their families.

Buxton resident Fiona McIntosh, who is one of the charity’s trustees, is hoping that all care homes in Buxton will benefit from the project.
“Music is such a stimulant, and especially for people with dementia, it brings people out of themselves,” she said.

“It reduces anxiety and stress and encourages reminiscence, as well as reducing agitation.”

The Music in Hospitals and Care concerts will mean that care home residents who can no longer go out need not miss their share of music when the Festival runs until July 22 after its opening gala night on July 6 when Lesley Garrett raises the curtain with an evening of Broadway and musical theatre hits.

“We were trying to get 70 events like Buxton Festival, which is so prestigious, for our celebration,” said Fiona, who was a violinist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Manager of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester until her retirement.

The charity plays in healthcare sites ranging from intensive care units to mental health outreach groups, and has great success in helping children with special needs, especially hearing impairment.

“Buxton International Festival is honoured to be chosen as a partner to help this wonderful national charity celebrate 70 years of using music to improve people’s lives,” said Chief Executive Officer Michael Williams.

“Our aim is to bring great music to the community, and the work of Music in Hospitals and Care means that this year we will reach those who otherwise might not be able to take part.”

Buxton International Festival, a feast of opera, music and books, runs from July 6 to 22. For full details, see http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk

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