Opera superstar Sir Bryn Terfel and harpist wife Hannah send moving musical message to our residents

Opera superstar Sir Bryn Terfel and his wife, former royal harpist Hannah, have sent a moving musical message of support to our locked down care home residents.

The kind-hearted couple recorded a video version of the gospel song, If I can help somebody, and sent it to the Pendine Park’s eight care homes in Wrexham and Caernarfon.

They originally performed the song during a visit to Pendine Park five years ago when the arts-loving organisation sponsored a concert starring Hannah at the North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph.

Bass baritone Sir Bryn, who hails from Pant Glas, in Gwynedd, and his talented wife have previously played for the likes of former American president Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In a message to everyone at Pendine, they said: “We loved doing the song that is dedicated to your hard work and dedication and all your staff on the front line”

During the visit in 2015 Hannah was blown away by the way the arts in general and music in particular were used to enrich the lives of residents and staff alike.

She said at the time: “To hear that these enrichment sessions are a daily occurrence is amazing.

"You can see how much enjoyment it brings to residents by the smiles on their faces."

Bryn was equally impressed and revealed: “My mother taught at a school for people with special needs in Caernarfon so I was involved with music therapy at an age when perhaps I didn’t really appreciate its benefits.

“However, the session we witnessed today was wonderful and clearly residents were having a great time."

Hannah, who was appointed the official harpist to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 2011, also treated residents, staff and invited pupils from Victoria Primary School’s choir and orchestra group, to an hour-long concert of harp music.

She played music as varied as the Oscar winning, The Way You Look Tonight from Swing Time, a 1936 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, to classical tango and rumba pieces by harp composer Carlos Salzedo, along with hits from musicals including South Pacific, The Sound of Music and Carousel.

According to Sir Bryn, the song, If I can help somebody, written by American composer, pianist and song-writer Alma Androzzo, resonated deeply during the current coronavirus crisis.

He said: “The wonderful staff who work Pendine Park’s care homes and others across Wales are real heroes and we owe a great debt of gratitude for their heart-warming commitment to the vulnerable people for whom they care.

“Just like the NHS, they are on the front line doing their utmost to safeguard their residents from the perils of this dreadful virus.

“Hannah and I wanted them to know they have all our love and moral support.”

Pendine Park proprietors, Mario Kreft MBE, and his wife, Gill, were “deeply touched” that Sir Bryn and Hannah had gone to the trouble of recording the video.

Mario said: “It was a wonderful, heart-warming gesture on their behalf and we are hugely grateful to them.

“Not only are Sir Bryn and Hannah supremely talented, they are also lovely people with hearts of gold. We can’t thank them enough.”

It was a sentiment endorsed by wife Gill who said: “Music is at the heart of everything we do at Pendine. It inspires the whole Pendine community.

“We have seen the power of the arts in enriching lives for many years and the efforts of our artist-in-residence, Sarah Edwards, and our musician-in-residence, Nia Davies Williams, make a huge difference, none more so than now.

“Music is the source of great comfort, particularly at such a difficult time, so the video of such a brilliant performance has certainly helped keep our spirits up and the words of this powerful gospel song, about helping people and spreading love, were the source of great solace.”


If I can help somebody

If I can help somebody, as I pass along
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song

If I can show somebody, that he's travelling wrong

Then my living shall not be in vain


Chorus:

My living shall not be in vain
Then my living shall not be in vain
If I can help somebody, as I pass along
Then my living shall not be in vain
If I can do my duty, as a good man ought
If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought
If I can spread love's message, as the Master taught
Then my living shall not be in vain