North East Wales

Brothers play music for Wrexham hospital kidney patients

Gwendoline Evans enjoying music from Jonathan and Robert Guy Image copyright Mandy Jones
Image caption Gwendoline Evans enjoying music from Jonathan and Robert Guy

Bob Marley once said: "One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain".

And it appears as though patients at the renal unit of Wrexham Maelor Hospital would agree.

Kidney patients undergoing dialysis treatment there are being offered personal performances by members of the locally-based NEW Sinfonia orchestra.

Numbers requested have ranged from The Beatles and Frank Sinatra, to musicals and traditional Welsh tunes.

The project, part of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board's arts in health and wellbeing' programme, is led by violinist Robert Guy and his clarinettist brother Jonathan, who established NEW Sinfonia to make classical music more accessible to audiences across north Wales.

Robert, who is also a critically-acclaimed conductor, said: "We really enjoy coming and we find it's quite a humbling experience for us.

"We always have two musicians and vary the players who come along. Today it's been myself on violin and my brother Jonathan on clarinet but other times we'll have someone playing cello or flute."

Image copyright Mandy Jones

His brother Jonathan, who has also played with the BBC Philharmonic, said: "We like to play anything that helps to lighten the atmosphere and we also do requests.

"In fact, one patient recently asked for something by an English jazz clarinettist called Monty Sunshine who worked with some of the big names back in the 1950s and 1960s.

"I had to work quite hard to find it but when I did we played it for him and he really enjoyed it."

Last year a study by Brunel University found music could reduce some post-operative pain by up to 77%.

But for others the performances are more about adding quality of life.

Gwendoline Evans, from Llay, has been on dialysis for seven years and says the music helps make her sessions more enjoyable.

"The dialysis sessions, which I have three times a week, are essential but they can be boring, so I look forward to hearing the musicians when they come in," she said.

"I ask for requests and they always try to play them for me. I really like songs from the shows and I try to sing along with them."

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