“The symphony acts as a reminder of the persistence and support that Meningitis Now embodies.”
Former Young Ambassador and long-term supporter Ross Probert has created a symphony inspired by his experience of meningitis.
Ross tells us about his brother’s meningitis diagnosis and how it changed the trajectory of both of their lives.
“My story begins with my younger brother Troy contracting meningitis at three years old due to a head injury. He has since contracted the disease multiple times, which led to him losing his hearing. This, however, was rectified by cochlear implants.
“I became a Young Ambassador for Meningitis Now in 2013, and it meant so much to me. Being a Young Ambassador was an honour and I cherish the experience to this day.
“Within my role I was able to visit parliament and lent my voice to major campaigns such as the MenB campaign which was successful in having the MenB vaccination introduced to the NHS children’s vaccination programme.
“A lot has happened since then - I have a degree in Music Composition and have written many pieces of music including an Orchestral Baritone Saxophone Concerto. I have been busy with several other projects and discovering the journey my life will now take. But, most importantly, I have written my first symphony.
“Symphony No.1 in Ab Major - Op.2 began in 2020 during the pandemic and has blossomed into a major personal project over the last few years. I officially finished the writing of the piece in 2022, but due to my desire to perfect it, I held it close to my chest.
“It was only during my final year of my degree that I restarted my work on it, making sure that it sounded exactly as I wanted it to, or as close as I could get to it without a live orchestra!
“It was during this period that I decided I wanted to dedicate the symphony to Meningitis Now - not only to show my passion for all the charity do, but as a thank you for everything they have done for my family, and for those who have been affected by the disease.
“The symphony is written without an explicit narrative - I hope the listener will be able to create and master their own journey through listening to it. That was always my intention and was important aspect of me writing it.
“I hope the symphony depicts emotions and sensations felt by those who have been affected, either directly or indirectly from the disease; including depictions of the twists turns, hope and fear, happiness and sadness that comes with a diagnosis of meningitis.
Persistence and support
“The plan for this symphony is to have it performed by orchestras across the country and to act as a reminder of the persistence and support that Meningitis Now embodies.
“I also hope that this symphony will be a catalyst for more music for the charity, blossoming into a complete collection of works dedicated to and for use by the charity for years to come.
“I really do hope you enjoy the symphony if you listen to it, and that, like me, you find the joys, pains and emotional battles within it as a meaningful representation that we are all in this together.”
The symphony is released today. You can listen to it here.