On a sunny Tuesday afternoon the Piano Shop Bath provided music for residents at Bridgemead, a residential home run by the Christian charity Bridge Care. The home is just around the corner from the Piano Shop Bath and they already had their own piano for other musical actives they regularly organise. Local piano teacher Susanna Downes teamed up with Piano Shop Bath assistant and pianist Edward Bettella to play a recital of classical pieces, finishing with some well known popular songs. Here is Edward’s account of what unfolded,
“The reaction to the music was fantastic. We received warm applause after every piece and certain residents clearly were in the mood! During Susanna’s performance of Mozart’s Turkish March I noticed one man intently conducting away to the bouncy rhythms of the piece, and when I performed Beethoven’s Adagio from the Pathetique sonata, I could hear a strong chorus humming along to the famous melody. For me as a performer it was quite moving and demonstrated the power of a good tune.
We finished on ‘What A Wonderful World’ which I provided vocals for. As a singer I have been all too aware of this song; it has been used in countless films and adverts, and in some sense I took it for granted. Singing to an audience who knew every word and were hanging on the famous refrain of ‘they’re really saying, I love you’ was very touching and spoke of something deeper in the combination of that melody with those well written lyrics.
After the recital we were invited to join the residents for tea and cake. One lady told us how they not only love to hear music, but also taking part through singing. A weekly service provides an outlet for singing along to some well known hymns, with a pianist providing accompaniment.”
The staff at Bridgemead declared the afternoon’s recital to be a success and we look forward to working with them on the next date. The Piano Shop Bath is now in the process of organising a regular monthly scheme of piano recitals to residential homes. We want to build relationships with residential homes in Bath, linking them with talented local pianists and providing a piano where none is available. The Piano Shop Bath welcomes pianists to get involved with the recitals; perhaps if you are a teacher with a roster of students you could organise a program that gives them all the chance to play to a very willing and supportive audience! We are open to suggestions and look forward to building on the scheme.