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Bristol Beacon brings intimate concert for Bristol Care Homes residents to Bristol Cathedral

An elderly couple watching a concert. One person in a wheelchair, the other is resting his head on the headrest.

On Friday, Bristol Beacon welcomed 200 residents from our city’s care homes to Bristol Cathedral for an intimate performance with our orchestra in residence, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

This was the latest event in Bristol Beacon’s unique programme designed to give residents of the city’s care homes the chance to hear the best orchestral music live, something which would otherwise be difficult for them to access. The concert was in collaboration with our sponsor and partner Bristol Care Homes and was supported by Triodos bank.

We know that listening to music and taking part in experiences outside of our care homes is vitally important to our residents. Music is proven to evoke memories and improve wellbeing, and we saw first hand the positive impact that last year‘s concert in collaboration with Bristol Beacon had on our residents. We wanted to bring it back, and open it up to more people, so we are thrilled that 200 residents will be attending the concert this year. This ongoing relationship with Bristol Beacon is something I am hugely proud of and thankful for.”

Geoff Crocker, Director of Bristol Care Homes

The concert was extra special because it acted as a farewell to the city from the BSO’s Chief Conductor, Kirill Karabits, who is stepping down this year, after 15 years at the helm. Music educator Jonathan James gave residents a captivating introduction to the orchestra and each piece as the residents filled the pews and took in their surroundings. 

Elderly people sat down together and smiling.
An orchestra and conductor performing in a cathedral.

Instantly captivated, the audience was enveloped by music as the sound of the orchestra permeated the historic site.

The violin section of an orchestra performing together.

We’re thrilled to be part of this special performance, which will offer a unique experience for care home residents in the heart of the city. We’re deeply proud of our partnership with Bristol Beacon, as Orchestra in Residence, and look forward to returning this Friday as we continue to celebrate a memorable year for symphonic music in Bristol.”

Dougie Scarfe OBE DL, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Elderly people applauding inside a cathedral.

Much to the residents’ excitement, the final piece played was Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 – his postcard home ‘From the New World’. Visible reactions broke out among the crowd as they recognised the piece, some closing their eyes as they moved their arms and feet to the music.

An elderly person and care home employee dancing together with a joyous expression.

After the final piece, the audience broke out into applause with some standing to express their appreciation. As the room disbanded, many were sharing their joyful experiences with others.

A group of elderly people applauding at a concert in a cathedral.

We want everyone to be able to take part in the best live music experiences, and we are so pleased that our sustained and meaningful relationship with Bristol Care Homes is continuing, and that we are able to actively use the time that Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have with us in the city to take part in such a vital and special concert.”

Todd Wills, Bristol Beacon‘s Artistic Director

Thank you to project supporters Bristol Care Homes and Triodos Bank. We continue to be grateful for support for our wider work with older people from The Anchor Society, The Grateful Society and St Monica Trust.

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