Acoustic screens are music to orchestra's ears

An award by national health and wellbeing provider Benenden Health has helped to protect the hearing of Maidstone Symphony Orchestra’s musicians.

The £500 sponsorship was used to fund eight acoustic screens which were officially unveiled during a thank you concert at Mote Hall on Saturday (October 12).

Benenden Hospital Director Jane Abbott presented the screens to Orchestra Chairman Peter Colman on behalf of Benenden Health.

She told the audience: “Acoustic screens are absolutely vital to protect the hearing of musicians at venues such as this so it gives me great pleasure to present these screens to Maidstone Symphony Orchestra.”

Jane was given a book of the orchestra’s 119-year-history and presented soloist Callum Wilson with a bottle of wine at the end of his violin concerto.

The acoustic shield deflectors, from the US, are placed between the brass section and the lower strings, between wind instruments and string players, and behind musicians in front of loud percussion instruments.

Former Mayor of Maidstone John Horne is a Friend of Maidstone Orchestral Society and a Kent & Sussex branch member of Benenden Health.

He said: “In recent years, concern to protect the hearing of players in rehearsal and in concerts has led many orchestras to use transparent screens to provide a degree of acoustic separation between players in particular areas where sound levels are likely to be highest.”

Benenden Health is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1905 and is one of the UK’s longest and most respected mutual healthcare societies.

It has more than 815,000 members throughout the UK including 30,000 who have membership as part of an employee benefits package.

Published on 18 October 2019