Care homes prove perfect venues for orchestra practice

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

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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.