THE uplifting strains of live music from a top orchestral duo are bringing delight to hospital patients.

Two accomplished players from the NEW Sinfonia orchestra are making regular visits to the busy rehabilitation unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital to perform a selection of favourites, ranging from jazz numbers to traditional Welsh tunes.

Patients who have benefited from them say they look forward to the weekly 90-minute sessions, which help pass the time and often bring back some golden memories.

The musical interludes are the brainchild of 29-year-old Rob Guy, who founded NEW Sinfonia along with his younger brother Jonathan, 27, in 2011 to showcase the “fabulous classical musical talent” in the region.

The brothers, who come from Wrexham, both studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Rob said: “Last year we did a series of similar performances for patients in the renal dialysis unit at Wrexham Maelor and they went down very well.

“The current sessions in the rehabilitation unit have been arranged specially with the hospital and are funded by the CultureStep programme through Arts and Business Cymru, which is designed to encourage new sponsorship and develop established business engagement with the arts.

“Tesni Homes, Clifford Jones Timber Companies, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board and NEW Sinfonia have received investment from the Arts and Business Cymru’s Culture Step to strengthen and develop their creative partnerships.

“NEW Sinfonia is delivering a music residency featuring performances and sessions at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital for patients on the rehabilitation ward.”

Rob added: “We’ve so far done four of the 10 sessions we’re booked for in the unit and we go in every Wednesday afternoon.

“There’s usually two members of NEW Sinfonia involved. We take our instruments and music stands with us and just set up in the various bays within the unit to play for the patients.

“We perform a broad selection of light classical music, jazz and songs from the shows.”

He continued: “The music helps break up the monotony of the day for people in the unit. We really enjoy coming and we find it’s quite a humbling experience for us.

“The patients love it, judging by the different comments we get from them, and so do the staff and we often find them singing along with the music.

“We had one lady who started to cry when she recognised the song we were playing, so it obviously brought back some happy memories for her.”

Reflecting on how NEW Sinfonia has developed, Rob said: “There are lots of talented young musicians from North East Wales, which is why we created NEW Sinfonia as a professional orchestra for them to play in.

“It’s a flexible group of anything between two and 45 musicians and we tailor the number according to the different scenarios we play in.

“We are becoming known for playing at major events like the North Wales International Music Festival but this gets us right into the heart of the community.”

This NEW Sinfonia music residency has been arranged through the Health Board’s Creative Well programme for the Arts in Health and Well-being.

Project co-ordinator Andrea Davies said: “Creative Well aims to put the arts at the heart of healthcare.

“We prioritise clinical areas where access to the arts, and in this case sensitively chosen high quality life music, will directly inspire and benefit our patients and improve their experience of the health board’s services.”