Music for David concerts

Music for David Music For David is an Uniting AgeWell program set up in memory of Rev David Hodges AM. David was chairman of Presbyterian Social Services from 1969 and was a key person in the formation of the Uniting Church and its social services in 1977.

Before retiring from full-time ministry in 1983, David was minister of Toorak Uniting Church and actively involved the church in community programs to support the young, families and elderly. He was also passionate about using the Arts to enhance the spiritual life of people in the community.

David began to develop dementia about six years before his death in January 2012. Uniting AgeWell Carer Respite Service supported him and his long-time partner, musician David Ross-Smith, during this period of physical and mental decline.

Music played a significant part in David’s care while he was experiencing dementia-related Sundowner’s Syndrome. Medical research has found music to be of great benefit to those living with dementia, helping ease symptoms of restlessness, anxiety or agitation.

Through donations, gifts and fundraising concerts, money has been raised to support Uniting AgeWell’s Music For David Program and employ an experienced music therapist to work with the Carer Respite Service.

There will be three ‘Music for David’ concerts taking place over the course of the next three months:

Sunday, 25 October at 1:30 pm at St Michael’s Church, Collins Street.

The outstanding performers are Rhys Boak – organ, Michael MacManus – classical guitar, Nathan Lay – baritone,  Jeremy Kleeman – bass baritone, with accompanist David Ross-Smith.

Program: a delightful varied program including instrumental works by Haydn, Elgar and Albeniz; opera arias by Mozart, Lieder by Schubert and Schumann, English Art-Songs, Ballads and vocal duets by Offenbach, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Sondheim.

The concert will be followed by refreshments.

Admission charge: $25 (children free)

Sunday, 29 November at 3 pm at Toorak Uniting Church, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak.

‘The Persian Princes’ or ‘The Road to Shangri-la’ is a fun-filled show written and directed by James Wright and performed in costume by a talented group of actor/singers accompanied by pianist, David Ross-Smith. The comic story set in the ‘Hotel Shangri La’ is enhanced by the delightful music of Gilbert and Sullivan and favourite excerpts from opera and music-theatre.

The show will appeal to people of all ages and be followed by champagne and finger food.

Admission charge: $40 and $35 concession.

Sunday, 13 December at 4 pm at the North Balwyn Uniting Church (St Aidan’s), 21 Duggan Street, Balwyn North.

A Music For David Christmas Concert. Music to celebrate Christmas with wonderful performers including pianist, Hoang Pham, winner of the 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Award and talented soprano, Rosemary Ball. There will be carols for everyone to sing with refreshments following the concert.

Admission charge: $25 and $20 concession

For enquiries about any of these concerts please phone David Ross-Smith on 9809 0550 or 0429 907 908 or email:


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