Maestro Phil swaps music for the movies

Phil Todd, second from left, is leaving the Forth Valley NHS Nurses Choir to concentrate on making movies with his first release due out in July
Phil Todd, second from left, is leaving the Forth Valley NHS Nurses Choir to concentrate on making movies with his first release due out in July
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The maestro who steered the Forth Valley NHS Nurses Choir from playing in wards to TV fame is hanging up his baton for a crack at the movies.

Phil Todd and nurses who work in the Forth Valley area started the group three years ago to entertain patients, local groups and the general public.

Phil Todd. Picture: Michael Gillen

Phil Todd. Picture: Michael Gillen

Since then it has grown into one of the nation’s best known choirs following a dramatic appearance on Michael McIntyre’s Christmas show last year. The group also raises money for local good causes.

But choirmaster Phil (26), who is originally from Caithness and studied music and filmmaking in Glasgow, has decided its time to concentrate more on his film career now that the first movie he directed – The Gaelic King – is due for its UK release on Monday, July 10.

He said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic working with all the nurses who have made me feel very welcome and been very supportive and lots of fun.

“We have played in lots of different and most extraordinary places and it has been amazing performing for patients. That was what we wanted to do from the start, to bring pleasure to patients.

“Music really brings people to life. One of the most rewarding experiences was playing to dementia patients and one lady immediately started singing and conducted the songs right on the beat because it brought back happy memories for her. I’ve had a wonderful time and will miss everyone terribly.”

Rita Ciccu-Moore, NHS Forth Valley’s associate director of nursing and member of the Nurses Choir, said: ‘We started the choir with Phil three years ago and he’s helped us grow from an original group of 12 to a much larger choir of 27.

“With his help and support we have entertained patients and staff from across Forth Valley and beyond and also raised thousands of pounds for charities at home and overseas. We have been invited to sing at hundreds of events including the Scottish Parliament, the RCN Congress and Michael McIntyre’s show.

“Throughout it all Phil’s commitment has been endless and, although we will miss him more than words can say, we wish him all the very best for his future career in the film industry.”