Angiolina Foster is an experienced public service leader who has worked in local government, national government and the third sector, as well as the NHS. Prior to her retirement in 2021, she was Chief Executive of NHS 24. Throughout her career, she has drawn inspiration from the local communities she has served as well as from the dedicated people with whom she has worked.
Her belief in the power of music to increase wellbeing in dementia began when she and her two sisters were supporting their beloved parents through the final years of their lives. Both had Alzheimer’s disease. Angiolina saw how personally meaningful music could bring calm and joy to someone with dementia. Equally powerful was music’s ability to restore cherished aspects of personality and spirit that are otherwise obscured by the dementia. Such moments are precious.
In addition to her role with Playlist for Life, Angiolina is a Trustee with Sistema Scotland (Big Noise), a charity that transforms the lives of children and young people through music.
Angiolina was awarded a CBE in 2011 for her contribution to public services in Scotland.
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah, played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason
This one brings together two of my lifelong loves – Leonard Cohen and the Cello
Arvo Pärt – Spiegel im Spiegel for piano and violin
This brought calm to my mother in her later, often agitated, stage of Alzheimer’s. I would climb onto the bed with her and simply hold her. As we listened to it together, it soothed her soul.
Elbow – One Day Like This
This was a bit of an anthem for us when I climbed Kilimanjaro with my son and daughter in 2019. We sang this as we climbed – when we had the breath to spare!
Frank Sinatra – Strangers in the Night
This makes me think of my parents, gliding across the dance floor together, long before Alzheimer’s came to them both.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Thunder Road
Reminds me of (many) live Springsteen concerts over the years. Never in a seat, always dancing in a sweaty mass in front of the stage.