Care homes prove perfect venues for orchestra practice

An orchestra has found a novel solution to the problem of finding rehearsal venues.

27 February 2019
By Connexion journalist

Every month Sweet Orchestra from Lyon brings together 65 professional and amateur musicians to rehearse. There is just one problem: finding a venue large enough.

The few rooms available that have sufficient capacity tend to be expensive, and semi-professional ensembles do not have money to burn.

The solution? Sweet Orchestra has partnered with a number of retirement and care homes in the area. They provide a space for the musicians to practise in and, in return, their residents are invited to attend.

Charlie Wilson, a Briton who is president of the association that runs the orchestra, said: “Music is magnificent to play but even better to share, and to be able to bring our music to the residents of these homes is a fabulous experience for the orchestra and residents alike.

Who wouldn’t like, occasionally, an orchestra to turn up and play where they live?”

Particularly memorable were rehearsals for the orchestra’s waltz-themed concert last year.

“Playing the Blue Danube while our conductor waltzed around the room with one of the residents of the home that was hosting us was a magical moment for the orchestra,” Mr Wilson said.

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