Concert to raise funds for dementia support

David Hodges and David Ross Smith

David Hodges and David Ross Smith

Some of Australia’s best opera singers will perform at an upcoming concert to raise funds for people with dementia and their carers.

Renowned singers Judy Sporton, Amanda Stevenson, Torquil Syme and Renn Wortley from Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria will perform songs from hit musicals such as Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.

The concert will take place at Toorak Uniting Church on Sunday 4 September at 3pm. It is a key fundraiser for Uniting AgeWell’s music therapy program, Music For David.

Music For David uses music on an iPod or MP3 player to soothe and stimulate people who are agitated or withdrawn due to the effects of dementia. It not only provides an enjoyable activity for the person with dementia, but supports carers by giving them short-term respite from the demands of their loved ones.

The program was established in memory of Rev David Hodges AM, who was minister at Toorak Uniting Church until his retirement in 1983.

Mr Hodges began to develop dementia about six years before his death in January 2012. Uniting AgeWell supported him and his long-term partner, musician David Ross-Smith, during this period of physical and mental decline. Music played a significant part in Mr Hodges’ care by helping ease restlessness and anxiety.

The Friends of Music For David, headed by Mr Ross-Smith, organises a number of events each year to raise funds for the Music For David program.

Mr Ross-Smith said the money raised would allow more people to access music therapy, which has proven to have positive effects on people with dementia.

“Music is not only beneficial for people with dementia, it also has therapeutic effects on healthy people as well,” he said.

“My hope for this concert is for people to have an enjoyable and uplifting experience and leave feeling better than they arrived.”

Bookings can be made at

When: Sunday, September 4, 3pm
Where: Toorak Uniting Church, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak
Admission: $30 or $25 concession. Refreshments provided following the concert.

Enquiries: David Ross-Smith 0429 907 908

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