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Tea Dance concert: an interview with Kenny Moffat

13 May 2024

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Developed specifically to engage with people living with dementia, the Re:Connect Tea Dance concert gives them and their friends and families the opportunity to come together for a relaxed event. It should make for an enjoyable occasion to evoke memories to the sound of old favourites - and a few singalongs! - performed by a number of SCO musicians.

We are very grateful to Kenny Moffat, one of the participants (and a member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group), for agreeing to take part in an interview, to give you a flavour of what to expect.

How has music been a part of your life?

I have been an active member of a local community (flute) band for approaching 50 years, playing for most of that time but acting as secretary for over 20 yrs in total and conducting for 15 yrs (until my dementia diagnosis and a stroke meant that I had to retire). As well as playing – apparently to quite a high standard!? – I also arranged music for the band and still do using the Finale/Sibelius programmes. I have also adjudicated at a number of national/international competitions for bands and soloists with some very positive feedback on my critiques.

In addition, I played brass (tuba and trombone) at school in the school band and with the Lanarkshire Youth Brass Band. I qualified at Grade 8 on Tuba and have a teaching certificate to allow me to teach the instrument.

I bought myself my own piano aged 14 and continue to play occasionally despite a left-sided weakness due to the stroke.

What impact has it had on you?

I have always enjoyed playing and listening to music and have really enjoyed the performance aspect. My favourite aspect was conducting the band which I really miss. Playing whilst important has always been less important than becoming a “bandsman” which I consider to be the most important thing that can come from being involved with an organisation such as ours.

What are you most looking forward to about the Tea Dance concert?

Meeting new people with an interest in music (classical especially) and seeing how much they enjoy live events – especially after the lockdowns.

Do you have any particular favourites you are hoping to hear?

Some familiar Strauss waltzes as well as some more obscure pieces that I have perhaps played, arranged, conducted, or adjudicated – too many to specify by name.

How have you worked with the SCO staff and musicians to put the concert together?

We have met online to discuss potential programme items and offer suggestions for the organisation to make it “Dementia Friendly”.

How has it felt to be involved in this way?

It’s always nice to be asked for your input and be recognised as having an interest and something to offer from experience. It has been a joy!

Re:Connect is developed and delivered in partnership with NHS Lothian and the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, University of Edinburgh.

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