New Harmonie at St Catherine's Hospice

A New Harmonie quintet, with a grant from the Henry Smith Charity , has just completed eight weekly visits to St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley. This is the first time that New Harmonie players have used live music in palliative care. The quintet consisted of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn. Each session included gentle exercise, singing, using percussive instruments to accompany the players, quiet listening and a reflective relaxing session to conclude. Patients were particularly interested in players talking about their instruments and demonstrating the different sounds produced. Players interacted before during and after each session with patients in a very informal and relaxed way.

Sue Bellamy (bassoon), Ann Barnard (horn), Sarah Williams (oboe),
Anne Hodgson (flute), Geoffrey Richardson ( clarinet)

Dr Geoffrey Richardson who leads the group said “ We are truly grateful to the Henry Smith Charity for giving us this opportunity to work at St Catherine’s. We have met and got to know some wonderful people – the patients, nurses, volunteers. After each visit we ask patients and staff to evaluate the session along with players and we send all these comments to the Funders. Typical patient comments are ‘Once again the quintet was very, very good and I look forward to seeing you all again’ ‘This has made a really nice change for me and something completely different’ ‘It has been a lovely morning with a good mix of chat, music and interesting information about the instruments’ ‘It all makes me feel I am in a different place’.

We believe in a small way we have helped to make a difference. The Sobell Foundation has given us a second grant to work again in St Catherine’s Hospice in 2014.