Opera singer Wynne Evans, who is also an Ambassador for the charity Music in Hospitals & Care Cymru, is bringing live music to children at The Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff.
The singer, BBC personality and motivational speaker will swap his usual white tie and tails for something a little more informal for a visit to a group of sick babies and young people in Wales’s flagship children’s hospital on Monday 1st April.
Today’s special event is a concert performed by professional musicians, organised by Music in Hospitals & Care and funded by ScottishPower Foundation. The project is called Lullaby Hour, reflecting the fact that the music is gentle and relaxing, and specifically tailored to young people – just the right thing to make the children feel a little better and give them a bit of a distraction from daily life in hospital. Today also sees the launch of a Lullaby Hour songbook, featuring some of the nation’s most popular lullabies – and Wynne will be presenting the Noah’s Ark Hospital with their very own copy during the concert.
Speaking before the concert, Wynne said: “I am so proud to be an Ambassador for the charity Music in Hospitals & Care. What they do is just brilliant: using live music to improve the quality of life of some of Wales’s most vulnerable adults and children. Everyone should be able to listen to good quality music – even when they’re stuck in hospital."
Today’s concert will be performed by soprano Sian Francis and classically-trained guitarist Will Browne. Sian is passionate about the Lullaby Hour programme. She said: "These are some of my favourite gigs. Music works at all levels – but with babies and children, the effect is absolutely magical. As a mum with a very young family myself, I’m not ashamed to say that I sometimes find these concerts even more emotional than some of the kids we’re playing for!"
Like the majority of Music in Hospitals & Care’s musicians, Sian is a Welsh speaker; she adds: "Some of our best folk melodies are lullabies – songs like Ar Lan y Môr and Suo Gân are wonderful both to sing and to listen to."
The Play Services Manager at the hospital, Sue Rearden, has been amazed by the effect that live music of this quality has had on the wellbeing of the children under her care. “It’s like medicine to the children on our wards," she said. "The last time [we had a concert from Music in Hospitals & Care], the fractious babies became calm and happy. One young lad was really apprehensive at the beginning of the concert and sat well back on his mum’s lap – but by the end he was much more relaxed and joining in, and actually gave the musicians a ‘thumbs up’ at the end."
Director of Music in Hospitals & Care Cymru, Robert Aitken CBE, said: "We are delighted to be playing such a pivotal part in Cardiff & Vale University Health Board’s Arts for Health andf Wellbeing strategy, using funding from the Cardiff & Vale Health Charity. There’s lots of high quality live music going on elsewhere in Wales, in care homes, day centres, schools and other hospitals – but everybody loves Lullaby Hour."
For further information please contact:
Robert Aitken, Director, Music in Hospitals & Care Cymru:
Tel: 02920 391415 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Similar events will be taking place in England and Scotland at the same time:
ENGLAND: Katie Derham, BBC presenter and Strictly finalist, will be visiting St Mary’s Hospital Neo-Natal Unit, London.
SCOTLAND: A Lullaby Hour session will also take place at the Victoria Hospital Children’s Ward, Fife.
Notes to Editors:
Music in Hospitals & Care is a UK charity, founded in 1948. Our live musical sessions are designed to humanise clinical settings, to reach and connect people, to encourage communication and meaningful interactions and to elicit emotions and memories when it matters most.
Music in Hospitals & Care concerts are focused on improving wellbeing and quality of life for people of all ages in hospitals, hospices, care homes and special needs schools, as well as outreach concerts in day units, tea clubs, dementia cafes and clinics. Our musicians are professionals who are carefully selected for their excellent engagement skills and musicianship. Each concert is individually designed to maximise communication and connection. Across the UK, the charity provides around 4,500 concerts each year (around 500 of which take place in Wales), benefiting over 100,000 people ranging from elderly people with dementia to life-limited children in hospices and on hospital wards.