South East London Orchestra

Our next concert will be on Saturday 25th May at All Saints Church, West Dulwich at 4pm. Plenty of fantastic music served up with our famous tea and cakes. We look forward to seeing you there!

Music in the Dark

Following our concert in May 2018, we received this wonderful message from an audience member, which we share here, with her permission, in full.

Our thanks to Claire for writing this, and for coming to our concerts, as well as to all those at Croydon Vision, who provide support and advice to the blind and partially sighted in order to help them live independent, confident and fulfilled lives.

Music in the Dark

Claire WhiteMusic came to me later in my life which proved to be a blessing because it coincided with the loss of sight. I had always been inspired by and loved my church music, but I had no appreciation or knowledge of classical works. This new discovery helped me to fill some of the empty places left by the flight of visual pleasures.

I have spent some lovely Sunday afternoons listening to the South East London Orchestra at St Barnabas Church in Beckenham. The performances have been greatly enhanced for me by receiving in advance the programme notes and having them read to me. This gives me background and information and raises my anticipation.

It is a strange sensation, when out of my world of nothingness, the music swells, rises and swirls all around me, seemingly from nowhere and no-one. I find it very hard to imagine all those busy musicians working away to produce all those wonderful sounds. Perhaps because I have no visual distractions I can become totally immersed in the music, jumping at an unexpected increase in volume – this is not a shock but a thrill.

The images and settings conjure up half forgotten pictures, scenes of woodland walks, stormy seas, waterfalls, frosty winder days and lazy hot summer afternoons. I want so much to retain these pictures in my mind. The music helps to keep form and colour in my imagination as well, as it does for all of us, laying bare the joys and sorrows of humanity.

Thank you all for bringing these musical treasures to me and I hope for many more to come.

Claire White