A couple living at local luxury care home, Signature at Wimbledon, have been using their love for classical music to bring residents together.
For more than a year and a half Justin and Susan Staples have been leading a ‘Classical Tuesday’ activity club.
Providing residents with the opportunity to unite and share in their passion for the music genre, this has proven to be a firm favourite amongst fellow residents.
Since the beginning, the classical music club has evolved from a core group of six, to now frequently welcoming new faces, including many of the activities team at Signature at Wimbledon. As we move past the pandemic period, Justin and Susan are excited by the prospect of more classical music fans at the care home joining them for their sessions.
Justin’s love for classical music developed from a young age. Whilst at boarding school he sang as a choirboy, and it was then that he first learned to read music. He also took piano lessons and, though he never became extremely skilled with the instrument, his awareness of the world of classical music in general was stimulated by the many records available to him, ranging from the Bandenbury Concertos to Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.
Bitten by the musical bug, his love for the art snowballed hereafter. Although his journey took a different direction, embarking on a career in the Diplomatic Service, Justin took advantage of his overseas career to explore whatever musical opportunities were available to him during his travels across Europe and Asia. From watching performances by Fischer-Dieskau and Segovia, the legendary guitarist, in Berlin, to witnessing Maurice Bejart’s eccentric opera productions in Brussels, for Justin this chapter of his life only furthered his love for classical music.
Arriving at Signature at Wimbledon two years ago, Justin quickly, and unexpectantly, found himself as ‘resident disc jockey’ at the care home, leading countless sessions for residents and cultivating a buoyant community of classical music lovers at Signature at Wimbledon.
When asked what his favourite classical music memory is, Justin said:
“I am quite spoilt for choice, but if I really had to pick just one example it could be my first Rosenkavalier. It was the early 1960s Covent Garden production with the incomparable Schwarzkopf, one of only two occasions when I heard her in actual performance. An utterly overwhelming experience, and it was two days before I came back down to earth.”
Speaking about the importance of resident led activities at Signature at Wimbledon, Activity Supervisor at the care home, Katia Fonseca, said:
“At Signature at Wimbledon we truly understand how important activities are for both the mental
and physical wellbeing of our residents. We encourage all residents to get involve or support where
they can, with many of our programmes shaped by our residents and their own interests, from
current affairs to music, sport and history.”