We celebrated our AGM recently with two performances, generously hosted by two Bromley nursing homes, given by Katie Clemmow (oboe, cor anglais and piano) and Margaret Archibald (clarinet and voice). Each home generously welcomed groups of our own guests to share the occasion with their own residents and staff. This was a rather unusual kind of informal concert as we wanted to showcase some of our workshop activities as well as offering performances of well- loved tunes. We had taken care to warn each of the Entertainments Organisers in advance, and so eyebrows did not shoot up when we cajoled members of our audience into playing chime bars to accompany Greensleeves and then forming a percussion orchestra as backing for a Mozart Rondo.
Katie has summed up the day:
The AGM followed on from a joyful morning when we tried out some of our musical games (normally reserved for children) on residents of a care home, members of the board and staff. It was heartening to see how even the most incapacitated managed to join in the fun, sometimes with help from those more able. By the end of the session the whole room was buzzing, and everyone seemed drawn closer together within the spirit of participation. Music breaks down inhibitions and barriers and when coupled with Margaret’s undying enthusiasm, you end up with a very powerful force indeed. I am so proud to be part of this enterprise. (As you can imagine, this was followed on by a very positive AGM!)
Katie Clemmow (Sub-principal Oboe, London Mozart Players)
(…what Katie doesn’t mention is that the AGM was held over a lunch of pub grub between performances!)
…and at the receiving end, the Entertainments Manager of Elmwood Nursing Home wrote:
Our residents were visibly uplifted by Margaret and Katie, they all thoroughly enjoyed joining in and taking part. Margaret’s enthusiasm is delightful and very catching – long may it continue.