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A renowned cellist and a leading violinist are sending “musical love letters” to residents of a care organisation in Wrexham.

Pendine Park went into partnership with the world famous Hallé orchestra more than a decade ago to create a pioneering enrichment programme that sees musicians visit their care homes to work with residents on musical projects.

The project has had to be suspended as a result of the  Coronavirus pandemic because non-essential visits to the homes have been stopped.

Cellist David Petri and violinist Caroline Abbott were keen to ensure the residents did not miss out.

Independently of the Hallé, the duo have worked together to send videos of some of the residents’ favourite musical numbers for them to enjoy during the lockdown.

Caroline Abbott, who lives in Manchester, describes the videos as “musical love letters or postcards” to residents whom she now thinks of as close friends.

She said: “David and I both really miss going to Pendine Park care homes due to the current pandemic.

“I’ve been going to the care homes for eight years now with the Halle project and David even longer, he’s been going for more than 10 years.

“We have so far recorded four videos performing Calon Lân, Over the Rainbow, Danny Boy and You are my Sunshine. These are songs we know residents always enjoy. And we are working on another video of Viennese waltz music.

“We now have so many good friends at Pendine Park and we wanted residents to know, although we might not be able to be there in person, we are still thinking about them.

“In truth going to Pendine Park to play music has become a big part of my life. What we have done with the videos is nothing to do with the Hallé project. The videos are just gifts to our friends from David and me.”

She added: “We really hope they enjoy them and realise we really are thinking about them at this difficult time. The idea is ours and not a Hallé project or anything to do with the orchestra.”

Cellist David Petri, who plays piano on the videos rather than the cello, said: “We thought we would both like to do something to show we were thinking of residents and care staff during the lockdown.

He said: “We have both being really concerned and hope everyone is safe and okay. We wanted to give them something to remember us by and something to look forward to in the future when we can go back and play live music in their respective care homes.

“Sarah Edwards, the artist in residence at Pendine Park, has emailed us some images of residents watching the videos and singing along which was wonderful to see.

“It’s a difficult time for us all but we felt if we could give them something to listen to and join in with, something that was specifically made for them it might just make a difference.

“I just look forward to being able to go back into the homes and play live for all the residents and staff who have become such close friends.”

Pendine Park artist in residence Sarah Edwards was delighted to receive the gift of the musical videos.

She said: “We all, residents and staff, look forward to the visits of the Hallé  musicians. The Halle project has been running for more than a decade and has proved to be very successful.

“However, the videos David and Caroline have sent us are personal gifts from them. It’s an act of kindness we all really appreciate.

“Caroline refers to the videos as musical love letters for their Pendine Park friends which is a lovely sentiment and something we really appreciate.”

She added: “It’s a difficult time at the moment as families can’t visit as we have to keep residents safe.

“Having these videos that residents can watch and listen to is fantastic and we can’t thank David and Caroline enough.”

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