Nurses can also sing

Nurses can also sing


norman lebrecht

May 09, 2011

This is not quite Florence Nightingale: the Musical, but if London doctors can have a decent orchestra – and they do – there’s no reason the nurses shouldn’t kick off their flat heels and form a hard-hitting chorus.

It’s happening this Friday, May 13. The Irish composer John  Browne has been showing health care professionals how to blow off stress in a jolly good sing. They will premiere his cantata, A Nightingale Sang, on International Nurses Day.

Here’s the press release:


World premiere performance by healthcare professionals of a new vocal work by John Browne – composer in residence at the Florence
Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s College London.

Event details: Friday 13th May 2011 at 8pm, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre

In celebration of International Nurses’ Day on 12th May; as part of Southbank Centre’s Chorus! weekend that this year focuses on the relationship between the voice and well-being and as part of its 150th anniversary year, the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London is delighted to announce the world premiere performance of a new cantata  ‘A Nightingale Sang’  by its composer in residence, acclaimed Irish composer, John Browne.

The concert takes place on Friday 13th May 2011 at 8pm at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

‘A Nightingale Sang’ is a moving reflection on Florence Nightingale herself as a pioneering nurse  and social reformer and on the nature of empathy.  The work layers several choirs including the choir of King’s College London; a 100 strong choir of nurses, midwives, healthcare professionals and students assembled especially for this event  together with ‘Mind and Soul’ – a choir of mental health patients from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; orchestra; dance and a nurses’ gamelan group.

John Browne’s residency has been made possible by a grant from the PRS for Music
Foundation  and the National Lottery through Arts Council England
(London) and is part of the School’s unique and  innovative ‘Culture
and Care’ programme,  offered to both staff and students alike.
‘Culture and Care’ explores the role that the arts in general and music
in particular can play in the professional development of nurses and
midwives and which puts creativity at the heart of the educational

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Head of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London
noted: “A Nightingale Sang represents the culmination of John Browne’s
residency and a musical meditation on the nature of empathy, which is
such a crucial element in our capacity to care.  I am thrilled that the
School’s Nightingale choir will be playing a leading role in this
prestigious congregational event”.

Commented composer John Browne:
“I have long been convinced that music plays a vital role in health and
well-being.  It is an honour and a privilege to work alongside
healthcare professionals to present this new work which demonstrates
the power of music in our lives”.


For further information, please contact:
Karen Pitchford, KHJ Communications Ltd /

Tickets : £10.00 / £5.00 concessions