First Dementia Orchestra worldwide performs in Bournemouth

Individuals with dementia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), BU students, music scholars, and the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) performed at an event to raise awareness about dementia.

The concert took place as a part of the Dementia Showcase, which raised awareness of a BU’s Dementia Institute and some of the projects they are currently working on to raise awareness for, and improve the lives of, individuals with dementia.

Songs performed by the orchestra included Moon River, You Are My Sunshine and a number of classical favourites – all delivered to a packed crowd at the LifeCentre on Winton High Street.

Building on the concept that music can improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia, participants in the performance were encouraged to sing and play new musical instruments. Two of the performers also stood to dance together during one of the songs.

Laura Reynolds, a research assistant within BUDI, said, “We were delighted to see so many members of the community come to support the BUDI Orchestra performance this Saturday as part of BUDI’s Dementia Showcase. We are so proud of all the Orchestra has achieved. The entire audience was completely captivated from start to finish, and we were all left feeling impassioned by their emotive rendition of Moon River. The Orchestra proves that dementia isn’t a life sentence: their achievements show us that people living with dementia are still full of life and creativity, and can still make invaluable contributions to our lives.”

Sheila Brooks attended the event and was in the audience during the performance. Sheila said, “On Saturday I attended the BU Festival of Learning event at The LifeCentre in Bournemouth.  I am rarely speechless but the performance of the BUDI Orchestra really moved me to silence.  I have followed the development of BUDI since its inception and am amazed at all that has been accomplished in the very short time of two years.”

The orchestra performance was introduced by the High Sherriff of Dorset, Jane Stichbury, who also gave voice to congratulate the orchestra at the end of the concert.  The Dementia Showcase took place as a part of Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning.

Festival of Learning 2014 draws to a close


Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning has drawn to a close following seven days of interactive, educational and interesting events.

The week-long Festival, in its second year, featured over 150 events.

BU’s Talbot Campus hosted events such as Wheelchair Basketball, Bug Grub (exploring edible insects) and a Poverty Summit, bringing together members of the Dorset community to talk about tackling poverty.

BU’s Lansdowne Campus hosted events on PR, social media and health, while a number of events also took place off campus, including a BioBlitz on Studland Nature Reserve and the Festival of Maritime Archaeology on Pier Approach on Bournemouth’s Seafront.

The Festival drew a lot of press coverage, including items on BBC news, and attendees at events included MP Tobias Ellwood and Poole Councillor Elaine Atkinson. The Festival was opened by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts (pictured) as the Festival tied in with Universities Week across the UK.

For the first time, Storify was used to capture comments, feedback and pictures taken during the Festival of Learning. Bournemouth University’s Storify profile has a daily roundup of the Festival.