A group of 48 NHS staff and friends, who are all part of a hospital-based symphony orchestra, have come together to create a special virtual performance of Elgar's 'Nimrod'.

The virtual concert celebrates the 72nd birthday of the NHS and marks the extraordinary work that has taken place in recent months.

Comprised largely of NHS staff from across Oxfordshire – including nurses, administrators, doctors, medical researchers and other health professionals– the full sized NHS symphony orchestra is one of only a handful of its kind in the UK.

The Radcliffe Orchestra has been performing concerts at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for over 40 years.

Due to Coronavirus, the healthcare staff had to cancel their scheduled summer concert and instead worked together to create this virtual performance.

Do take a moment to watch this rather special performance.

Dr Rosie Adams, a Radiology Consultant at the John Radcliffe who is also the Chair of the Orchestra, said:  ‘We normally perform three very special concerts a year, and these also raise thousands for medical charities.

‘With everything on hold we decided creating a virtual performance would be a great way to continue to harness our musical passions.

‘We chose to support our local NHS charity, Oxford Hospitals Charity, as well as we have seen first-hand the amazing work the charity does in our hospitals day in day out.  Donate to the Orchestra's Fundraising page

‘The rousing piece captures the spirit of NHS staff working collaboratively during difficult days, and putting this together has been a tremendous outlet for the musicians, many of whom have also been working on the frontline in our hospitals.’

Paediatric Oncologist and violinist Kate Wheeler, added: ‘Music is always a wonderful way to recharge your batteries, particularly relevant at present.

‘I have been a member of this orchestra for nearly 20 years and to have had the opportunity to play my violin during this pandemic, albeit remotely was an exciting challenge.

‘I am really proud to have been part of this orchestral performance  along with many of my loyal NHS colleagues. All members of the orchestra are hugely indebted to  our  conductor, Catherine Underwood and her family, who assembled all the recordings and produced the final performance on video.

‘I hope this will spark a burst of fundraising for our special hospital charity.’

Sarah Vaccari, Head of Communications at Oxford Hospitals Charity said: ‘The support from our local community over the past months has been extraordinary and provided such a boost to NHS staff and patients during difficult days.

‘And it is particularly touching when NHS staff from within our own hospitals choose to fundraise for our charity, especially in such a creative and skillful way.

‘We urge everyone to take a few moments to enjoy the power of this music. It is something very special indeed.’

To make a donation to support this special fundraising performance, or to find out more about the charity, please use the buttons below:


Oxford Hospitals Charity (registered charity no 1175809) is the official charity supporting Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. www.hospitalcharity.co.uk