Music in Hospitals wants to recruit more diverse musicians

Anita Pati

Music in Hospitals, which plays music to patients to aid their recovery, is looking for musicians with more diverse repertoires, including reggae, calypso and Bollywood-style.

The charity, which was originally set up to entertain war veterans, sends mainly classically trained musicians into hospitals and health centres.

But Julia Haycock, concerts co-ordinator for Music in Hospitals, said it was getting a growing number of requests from younger audiences in mental health hospitals, drop-in and day care centres and special needs schools. It is now looking for singer-guitarists and musicians from diverse groups.

"Although a large percentage of our concerts take place in nursing homes, venues with younger audiences are coming to know about us through our marketing and word of mouth," she said.

Haycock said the charity would like musicians to cover more chart music, such as Coldplay and David Gray, for younger audiences. It is also keen to recruit those playing Bengali and Indian classical music.

The recruitment drive is part of a wider campaign to update the charity's image. It has revamped its website and is targeting cultural and music centres at institutes such as Guildford's Academy of Contemporary Music and London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

It has even had a request for rap music from a mental health centre in London.

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