Older person’s charity MHA has commissioned a special Fanfare for the Older Person to mark its 75th anniversary of provide care, support and accommodation to older people across England, Scotland and Wales.
Written by renowned organist and former BBC Radio 2 presenter Nigel Ogden, the piece of music will receive its premier at Derby Cathedral on Saturday 13 October to mark the start of MHA’s Service of Thanksgiving for its 75th anniversary.
MHA’s chief executive Sam Monaghan comments: “The famous Fanfare for the Common Man was composed by Aaron Copeland in 1943, the same year that MHA was founded by members of the Methodist Church. It seemed fitting that we marked our anniversary with a Fanfare for the Older Person to celebrate all that is joyful about later life and the experiences it brings us - and we were delighted that Nigel took on the challenge.
“The Fanfare will be a fitting start to our Service of Thanksgiving.”
Nigel’s link with MHA comes through Starr Hill care home in Lytham St Annes where he plays a weekly organ recital for the residents as well as helping with the home’s weekly service.
He says: “For a fairly short time a few years ago, my mother was a resident at MHA Starr Hills care home. Since then, I have had the joy of being a volunteer there playing a weekly short recital and accompanying the short weekly service.
“I use the word ‘joy’ because it genuinely is a sheer delight to have these opportunities to spend time with wonderful people who are friendly, warm, welcoming and full of gratitude – yes, their bodies may be letting them know they’re getting on a bit but their minds are sharp, full of fun and a constant source of stories from their lives which never cease to amaze.
“It was such a privilege to be invited to compose a piece for MHA’s 75th Anniversary. The next stage was to decide what style of piece it needed to be. I decided on a bright, celebratory fanfare to start things off.
"The following section of the piece (which I’ve called ‘Processional’) has a more reflective quality which I hope will musically depict something which I personally feel it is so important for us to encourage and help to maintain in older people – a sense of dignity. The more forceful repeat of this section of the piece seeks to combine the dignity and the celebration of both MHA – and of life!
“I am delighted to be associated not only with the MHA’s 75th Anniversary but also with an organisation which does so much to sustain and enrich the lives of those in its care as they enter the autumn of their lives.”
Preaching at the service will be president of the Methodist Conference, the Reverend Michaela A Youngson, with vice presidents and MHA board member, Bala Gnanapragasam leading the prayers of thanksgiving.
There will also be an act of memorial to mark MHA’s 75 years of service inspired by Christian concern to remember and celebrate the lives of past and present residents, staff and volunteers.
Those who wish to attend can just turn up on the day or book tickets at www.mha.org.uk/75years