Our top songs for BBC Music Day

Posted on September 26, 2019

In honour of BBC Music Day 2019 we are sharing a playlist of music chosen by our staff! This year’s BBC Music Day theme is wellbeing and music and – given our work with Anglia Ruskin University for people living with dementia – we wanted to choose music which brought back specific memories or was especially meaningful to us. You can find the full playlist here with the staff picks below:


“This was the only orchestral record in my parents collection and for years I believed this to be classical music. I listened to it hundreds of times and this made me take up an instrument and get into actual classical music!” – Angela


“In the time before car radios were standard long journeys were often punctuated by my father singing in the car. I still have fond memories of his rendition of “What a wonderful world” on journeys to summer holiday destinations, it always felt like a particularly happy start to two weeks of fun.” – Chris


“My favourite piece of music is ‘I Giorni’ which is a beautiful piano piece by Ludovico Einaudi, and it means ‘The Days’ in English.  It is meaningful to me because it reminds me of my grandma.  I started learning to play the piano when I was nine years old and she was hugely supportive and encouraging right from the start, even when I sounded like an elephant was trampling up and down the keys.  She passed away in 2017, but listening to this reminds me to always be brave, keep my chin up and to keep trying even when life gets hard.” – Susie


“I remember being shown the album ‘Officium’ by The Hilliard Ensemble with Jan Garbarek by my saxophone teacher at university. It really expanded my horizons and pushed the boundaries of how the instrument could sound and what period of music it could play. The blend of early vocal music paired with 19th century instrument so heavily associated with jazz is truly unique. This track is one of my favourites, as the low drone creeps into the texture, and while you think it is a voice at first, at grows beautifully as the sound of the sax to weave in and out of the voices.” – Alex


“This reminds me of Proms in the Park in 2001 which was just after 9/11 and so all of the celebratory music was replaced with the Barber.  It was a highly emotionally charged performance.” – Steve


“This was the opening number in Saffron Hall’s community piece The Lost Letters. This project brought together people of all ages from across our community and was a joyous celebration of collaboration – I will always associate it with that.” – Thomas


“My choice would be “O Dolci Mani “ from the last act of Tosca (well, all of the last act really … such emotional  music from Puccini)  – this was one of the first live operas I had ever seen and made me an opera lover for life” – Deirdre


“I first heard this piece when my parents performed it in a local chamber choir. I was about 14 and it really stuck with me because it’s very sorrowful with lots of squidgy harmony. I remember thinking ‘I want to do that’.” – Emma


“My choice is the Oklahoma Ballet from the National Theatre updated cast recording, amazing theatrical orchestrations complimented by Susan Stroman’s innovative choreography.” – Graham


“We went on a big road trip to the south of France with a big group of family and friends when I was 4 or 5. We’d hired a massive people carrier so we could all travel together, and someone had made a mix tape for the journey. American Pie was on there and it’s the first song I remember hearing and thinking ‘wow this is amazing’ so I basically made my family play it all the way to the south of France and back again…” – Tom


“My choice is Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. It was my Grandad’s favourite song, and when he was really unwell in hospital I sang it to him, and he smiled for the first time in weeks.” – Katie