A music tale to make me happy …

I’ve been helping out BBC Radio Scotland of late, and got the chance to fix an interesting guest for Good Morning Scotland this week.

The story was about the (not so amazing, really) finding of a study that being involved in creative, arty stuff was top of the list for making people over 60 feel happy.

I’d heard the Clydeside Strings rehearsing in Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre before, and although I’m not a classical music buff the sound of their music soaring through the building is always a thrill.


I tracked down the couple at the centre of the Strings, Bob and Christine Nelson from Scotstoun, and Christine, a former RSNO violinist who’s been playing for more than 60 years, dragged herself out of bed at an unearthly hour to come in to the studio to talk to the team about the thrill that music still gives her.

The quid pro quo of that was I agreed to go along to the Strings rehearsal last night and try to capture a recording: something the group has not done before.

The Strings are a mix of very good amateurs, professionals and retired pros, mostly over 60, who play and coach each other for the sheer love of it, and only perform in public for the occasional fund-raiser

Sitting in the rather spartan setting of the hall at HoSco, the music was amazing: interesting too to see Bob marshalling his troops as conductor and gently coaxing them to the right emphasis. I think you’ll agree the results are rather wonderful, and even my little Marantz recorder, mainly used for speech recordings, has managed to capture a sense of it, despite a few little bumps.

The recording is not perfect, and I’ll be going back to do some more with them soon, but it gives a pretty good idea of what they can do. Pretty stunning for something they do for love …