A Wye Valley Music in Mind project:
The Music Memory Café takes place every third Wednesday of the month. Doors open from 10.30am to 12.00pm. Entrance is free.
Venue: the St Briavels Assembly Rooms, East Street, St Briavels, nr Lydney, GL15 6TG. Parking is available nearby - please contact us for details.
Next session: Wednesday 21 February, 2024, Nikkila Thomas and Cerys Rees.
Come along to a short programme of live music in a relaxed setting, with sing-alongs, refreshments and a chance to chat and reminisce.
The Music Memory Café is for people who are concerned about memory loss or who are living with a diagnosis of dementia or other brain disorder, along with their family members, friends and carers. Information will also be available at each session, provided by local dementia support services including the Alzheimer's Society, Crossroads Gloucestershire and the Gloucestershire Carers Hub.
If you have any questions about the Café, or if you would like to volunteer, please do get in touch with us. You can telephone Mel on 07966 627 840. Or you can email us at [email protected].
Stop press! The St Briavels Indoor Gentle Active Games are up and running again at the St Briavels Assembly Rooms, St Briavels, GL15 6TG. The sessions are fully inclusive, they include a fun and social series of games, including bowls, table tennis and table games, all of which can be played seated or standing. And there will be plenty of tea, coffee and cake available! For more information, you can contact Gill on 07764 578963 or by emailing her at [email protected]. 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month, 10.30am-12noon. £4 entry, to include all refreshments.
If you've enjoyed our Music Memory Café, there are now three new ones in the Forest of Dean: at the Main Place, Coleford, GL16 8RH, on the 1st Wednesday of every month; at the Town Hall, Lydney, GL15 5DY, on the 2nd Wednesday of every month; and at the Wesley, 7 Belle Vue Road, Cinderford, GL14 2AA. Doors open at 10.30am.
And, if that wasn't enough music, Mindsong have now launched Sing2Remember in Lydney. This is a wonderful dementia friendly, community singing group for anyone who might enjoy singing songs together from across the years, sharing memories, making friendships and accessing support if needed. The group meets at the Lydney Community Centre, GL15 5AT, on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 11am. Contact: Paige Halliewell. Email: [email protected]. Telephone: 07413 066526. To learn a little more about these sessions, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gswYa2iS3MU.
We would like to thank the following for their generous support (plus some anonymous donors):
We are delighted to be working with the following musicians at the Music Memory Café:
Nikkila Thomas - singer.
Nikkila is from Llanelli. She recently graduated from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a First-Class BA Hons degree in Vocal and Opera Studies. At College, Nikkila focused on community engagement, research, and music education. Most recently, she has volunteered as a musician volunteer for Oasis Cardiff (a charity that supports asylum seekers and refugees), One World Choir, supporting the choir leader with music learning and engagement, as well as supporting the vulnerable choir members at the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen, whilst singing as part of Catrin Finch’s composition, ‘We Belong’.
Nikkila is proud to have supported Wye Valley Music in launching Wye Valley Music in Mind, delivering three interactive concerts for the residents of Severn View Care Home in the summer of 2021, with harpist Cerys Rees.
In September 2021, Nikkila was offered a position as Children & Youth Support Coordinator at The Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales. Within this role she supports young people with kidney disease and their families, promoting physical and emotional well-being as well as developing services with the NHS to better patients' quality of life. Since October, Nikkila has been developing a relationship between Live Music Now and The Paul Popham Fund, to facilitate music workshops, interactive concerts and music and well-being training for volunteers and to promote the power of music for health and well-being for children, youths, and adults.
Cerys Rees - harp.
Harpist Cerys Rees is currently studying for a Masters in Music Performance, under the tutelage of Caryl Thomas and Rhodri Davies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). Graduating from RWCMD with a First-Class Bachelor of Music with honours, Cerys is the recipient of the Daniel Emlyn Davies Award and her studies are supported by a Sir Howard Stringer Scholarship.
Cerys has performed at many prestigious events, notably, the opening of the 6th Senedd, with HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and First Minister Mark Drakeford in attendance.
Community engagement is central to Cerys’ musicianship. Performing with Soprano Nikkila Thomas, she has delivered community engagement projects and interactive concerts at care homes for people living with dementia. After the successful launch of Wye Valley Music in Mind, she has enjoyed piloting the Music Memory Café in 2022, helping to take interactive concerts into the community. Both projects are supported by Wye Valley Music.
As well as working with the elderly, Cerys has taken various music workshops into schools in south Wales via Zoom and in-person, which focus on relaxation and well-being, the music of Wales and provides an introduction to the harp.
Cerys’ main passion for the harp lies within contemporary music and working with composers to expand the harp’s repertoire and push the boundaries of what the harp can achieve. Cerys is excited to start working with and incorporating electronics into new music.
Olivia Dance - piano.
Olivia Dance was born in Oxford and began lessons at the age of eight. Performing in festivals, competitions and concerts during her childhood inspired her to pursue music as a career.
She has recently graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with an MMus. Her commitment to her studies was recognised when she was awarded the Clifford Hartley Prize from the RNCM in 2017. During her studies, she established Holy Name Primary School Choir in Manchester’s Moss Side and regularly accompanied local choirs.
Olivia’s performing career has so far led to an appearance at the Wigmore Hall in London and taken her to Bergen, Norway.
She currently teaches for Aura Music Academy and the Joanna García Piano School, and is an Associate Artist for SoundUp Arts, a participatory music organisation for people living with dementia.
Olivia is excited to be working with Wye Valley Music and is looking forward to what lies ahead.
Sarah Waycott - flute/cello.
Born in the Forest of Dean, Sarah is a graduate of Bath Spa University and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She has worked in Masterclasses with a number of prominent flautists including Graham Mayger and Stephano Parrino, and her studies with Susan Milan have led to a close association with Milan's British Isles Music Festival.
An eclectic musician, Sarah has studied Jazz, World Music and Baroque instruments. At the other end of the spectrum, she was a founding member of the 'ELO Again Tribute Band', and their lead cellist until 2016, and she has recently started experimenting with electronics, to layer and manipulate the sound of the flute.
Sarah has performed with various ensembles and orchestras and, as a soloist, has worked extensively in the UK and abroad. Closer to home, she is a freelance conductor for several local community choirs and runs a teaching practice, offering lessons in flute, cello and piano.
Her latest venture, in partnership with pianist Yanna Zissiadou, is Animo, a Contemporary Declassified flute and piano duo, performing soulful, timeless music. You can follow Sarah at www.sarahwaycott.com and Animo at www.animofluteandpiano.co.uk.
Aulus Duo: Ellie Knott - flute; Georgina Dadson - classical guitar.
Formed in 2020, Aulus Duo share a passion for collaboration and engagement with classical music in the community. Ellie Knott (flute) and Georgina Dadson (guitar) are both masters students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Their most recent education project has seen them working with authors Tom and Joe Brassington to create musical resources to sit alongside their book, Bottled. It aims to equip young children with the tools to develop an emotionally honest way of talking more openly about their mental health. They are thrilled to be collaborating with composer Ryan Elliott to create a piece of music to be performed alongside a narration of the book. The project will be launched in schools across the UK during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in February 2022.
Aulus Duo look forward to performing recitals and introducing their project to the wider community across Wales and England.
Amy Hulme - accordinist.
Amy has a lifelong passion for music and her expertise spans a diverse range of instruments, with her main focuses being kit drums and piano accordion. In addition to her instrumental abilities, she has a great love for harmony singing.
Amy is currently studying for a Music Therapy MA at University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol and has a placement at Severn View Care Home, Chepstow.
For more information about Wye Valley Music in Mind, click here.