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Short, relaxed concerts featuring a range of familiar music to be enjoyed in a friendly and supportive atmosphere - our Cuppa Concerts are a project close to Tutti Cello Jacqueline Tyler's heart. We caught up with her about the work she does for each performance, and what audience members can expect.

What are CBSO Cuppa Concerts and what can the audience expect?

Cuppa Concerts are relaxed, informal concerts for older people, particularly those living with Dementia. They feature well-known classical music, songs from musicals, folk music, music to sing along to, music to play along to, and music to reflect with. Words and pictures are presented on a screen and all the music is introduced by the musicians. There is plenty of interaction and we have a lot of fun together.

Why do you choose to work on CBSO Cuppa Concerts?

I am passionate about how powerful music is for us as human beings and how it can unlock feelings, communication and memories. I also know how few opportunities there are for those living in care homes and nursing homes to experience live music, despite it giving such joy. Music is such an amazing medium for bringing people together.

Who are Cuppa Concerts for?

These concerts are specially designed for people living with Dementia and their carers. Adults who need assistance with living, those affected by stroke and anyone who just wants to attend an informal, fun concert are also very welcome!

What is your favourite part of a Cuppa Concert?

It’s difficult to choose! I really enjoy putting a programme together and seeing it come to fruition. I also love working with different colleagues on this project. I guess most of all it’s incredibly satisfying and moving to see how the audience are experiencing the concert.....the joy and the tears, how it brings people to life again and the sheer enjoyment of experiencing live music together.

"I am passionate about how powerful music is for us as human beings, and how it can unlock feelings, communication and memories."

Jacqueline Tyler

What do you consider when you are curating these concerts?

Our Cuppa Concerts generally have a theme, so I will be searching out music that fits with this, thinking about a balance of interaction and listening. We include music that explores a variety of different genres, moods, and characters. We always have a group of five different musicians for each concert, so I try to find music that suits that instrumental group.

What is the atmosphere like at a Cuppa Concert?

We keep it as informal as possible to create a friendly and inclusive atmosphere. We like to meet and greet people as they come in and help them to find a seat and feel relaxed. It’s all about creating a community for the afternoon, making the audience feel very welcome and getting a chance to meet the musicians as friends.

Photograph of audience members applauding at a Cuppa Concert
Photograph of an elderly woman giving a standing ovation to a small ensemble of players

After Cuppa Concerts, musicians and audience members sit down together and enjoy tea, cake and a chat. What is your favourite type of cake?

This is a very special part of the event and it’s so valuable to engage with the audience afterwards with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. We can enthuse together about the music and connect with each other as fellow human beings.... there are no barriers here! It’s also a useful time to gather ideas for a future concert, getting to know what sort of music they might like to hear. My favourite cake....well, it has to be chocolate, and I am certainly ready for it by then!

"It's all about creating a community for the afternoon, making the audience feel very welcome and getting a chance to meeting the musicians as friends."

Jacqueline Tyler

Join us for a Cuppa Concert

  1. Family Concert: Where are all the Black Female Composers?

  2. CBSO Cuppa Concert with elderly couple in wheelchairs

    Cuppa Concert: March

  3. CBSO Cuppa Concert audience smiling

    Cuppa Concert: June

  4. Cuppa Concert audience clapping along to music

    Cuppa Concert: November

  5. Come and Sing: Haydn's Creation