Decades ago it was exceptional for any musicians, other than those under the auspices of the BBC, to be assured of financial help from employers should there be anything wrong with a player's health, however trivial it might seem to those outside our rarified profession.
Seemingly straightforward everyday knocks and scrapes can create deep anxiety for a musician, ranging from a less than confident performance to true musical incapacity. A rose thorn in the finger of a gardening string-player, a pulled tendon in a hand, unexpectedly fuzzy hearing, an unforeseen wrenched or aching shoulder, ouch . . . a bitten lip, teeth a bit sensitive today, eye tests . . . new specs, any of these could indicate days, or weeks off work for specific musicians.The show must go on!
This is why your musicians looks for financial help when disaster strikes. There is private medicine available which cuts down NHS waiting times and gives access to specialists in every field of the medical profession of course, but this usually comes at a cost far beyond an orchestral musician's budget. Honorary medical advisers generously give of their time and as regular concert goers sympathise and understand what are so often unique health problems.
Our reliable annual financial boost is the CBSO Benevolent Fund Concert, the first of which was generously conducted for free by George Weldon in May 1946. Retired staff and players are always welcome guests on these occasions, engendering lots of gossip and memories during the after-concert get-together!
The best and most vital way you can help the musicians of the CBSO is by supporting the orchestra and coming to all our concerts. Some people for whom the CBSO has meant a great deal in their concert-going lives show also their gratitude to the players and staff by leaving a small legacy to the Fund, or by just sending a donation. If you might be one of these people yourself, please get in touch or send a cheque payable to 'CBSO Benevolent Fund' to our Treasurer of the CBSO Benevolent Fund at the CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham B1 2LF, or contact her via the contact form; alternatively, please click the PayPal Donate button below:
(Please note that as a registered friendly society we are unable to access gift aid; also note that PayPal charges a small percentage fee for every donation - if you would like to donate a large sum, you might wish to contact the Treasurer directly.)
From the financial point of view, the CBSO Benevolent Fund is completely independent from the CBSO Ltd. Please visit the main CBSO site for information on all other concerts and activities of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.