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Salvation Army Tuba player performing Christmas carols at Menzies Ward 5

Waikato Hospital was filled with the familiar sounds of classic Christmas carols on Sunday night (21 December) as the Salvation Army brass band and choir performed to patients.

For more than 20 years the band has returned to the hospital at Christmas to try and provide respite to patients and their families, said Colonel Ross Gower.

“Music is therapeutic and healing, it invokes happy memories and life-giving endorphins are released.  We see that we are in partnership with health professionals to bring about healing and restoration for people.”

He said the band was grateful for the opportunity to sing and play at the hospital.

“We find a ready and willing audience yet we are very sensitive to patients who need quiet too.  It is a privilege…”

Deputy band master Gordon Jellyman said the Salvation Army had performed carols at hospitals throughout the world for countless years, and Hamilton City is no exception.

“The band is often told of the positive impact their music has in this special place.”

While visiting her sick mother, Janet Genner said the band helped her family take a moment away from the stresses of having a loved one in hospital.

“The carols were excellent they brought the Christmas spirit into the hospital. For a moment we could forget why we were there.”

Band vocalist Brian Smith said the band also plays before most Sunday morning chapel services held at the hospital.

“We play in the Menzies Building, which is not double-glazed so the music carries and reaches patients in the Elizabeth Rothwell Building too,” he said.

Ends

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Email: news@waikatodhb.health.nz

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