Rock musician turned dentist calls the tune for sister’s hospice

04 May, 2020 / infocus
 Scottish Dental  

A musician who retrained as a dentist after playing alongside various superstars is now raising money for the Scots hospice where his sister died.

In a glittering music career, talented guitarist David Devine performed all over the world, with the likes of Calvin Harris, the Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada and Faithless, before giving up the music world to study dentistry instead.

Now the 40-year-old, who treats thousands of patients at Clyde Munro’s Baillieston practice in Glasgow, is going back to his musical roots to support the hospice which cared for his cancer-stricken sister.

He has launched a “Rock the Hospice” fundraiser to support St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie and has also pledged to donate all proceeds from his new solo, single, One Last Time.

Among the first donations to the cause was a £500 contribution from Clyde Munro, Scotland’s biggest dental group. David shared news of his fundraiser with colleagues when he performed during an online concert for Clyde Munro’s 500 staff across Scotland – and bosses immediately pledged support.

David, who lives in Hamilton, saw first hand the care and devotion of hospice staff when his sister, Karen Derbyshire, spent eight months there with breast cancer before her untimely death in 2017, aged 50. She is survived by husband, Lenny and daughter, Stephanie who now has a son of her own who Karen unfortunately did not get to meet.

David Devine’s sister, Karen Derbyshire, who died of cancer in a Lanarkshire hospice.

He added: “Like many other charities, St Andrew’s Hospice has been feeling the strain on its funds during Covid-19, as 80% of its income comes from fundraisers. At a time where you can feel helpless, I wanted to do something positive to give back to a hospice which I hold close to my heart.

“That’s when ‘Rock the Hospice’ was born – music is one of the best ways to cheer people up and bring communities together so I couldn’t think of a better way to start raising money.”

Now the singer-songwriter, who has taken the stage at festivals including Glastonbury and T in the Park, is encouraging the Scottish public to support the online fundraiser, which is bringing musicians together to play, donate and nominate for the hospice.

David said: “The idea behind the campaign is that people will record themselves performing a song, post it on our Facebook group, nominate people to take part and then donate what they can on our Just Giving page.

“I was amazed that within the first day of having everything up and running we had already raised £1000. The campaign really has the ability to spiral into something much bigger and to reach a wide audience, hopefully continuing long into the future past Covid-19.”

“We’ve confirmed some musicians and TV stars to perform over the next few weeks, so we’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more to join the Facebook page to ensure they will be among the first to know who they are.”

Despite his hectic schedule treating both NHS and private patients, David has devoted his free time over the past two years to recording an album which is due to launch. It includes the single One Last Time which is now on sale, with 99p from every purchase donated directly to the hospice.

He also kickstarted his Rock the Hospice fundraiser, by playing an acoustic version of the single then nominating famous faces, including Paolo Nutini and Amy MacDonald, in the hope they will also show support for the cause.

The death of his sister came at a time in David’s life when he was already in the midst of significant changes, having qualified as a dentist in 2015 and embarking on his new career.

David Devine with Calvin Harris (centre).

The former pupil of St Aidan’s High School in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, added: “As a full-time musician I toured across America, Europe and completed various stadium tours, but as I looked to the future I didn’t see music as something which would support me forever.

“I went on to study Dentistry at Glasgow University and qualified in 2015, taking up my first position at a practice in Coatbridge before moving to Clyde Munro’s Baillieston practice in 2018. Many people see the transition from a full-time musician to dentistry as being really bizarre, but I’ve always been interested in both and you wouldn’t believe there are actually a lot of similarities in terms of the artistry and creative aspects.

“The practice in Baillieston is single-handed which means I’m the only dentist in the practice. I love it, as I get to treat both NHS and private patients – the whole Baillieston community has really taken me under their wing.

“I’m extremely grateful to Clyde Munro who made one of the first donations to St Andrew’s Hospice when I started fundraising. During this period of uncertainty, they have been there for all the staff and have really brought a sense of team spirit into these difficult times by organising online concerts and other little things to keep people positive.”

Jim Hall, Clyde Munro Founder, said: “David recently treated us to one of his original songs on our online concert and his talent is incredible, so I’m sure this fundraising campaign will be a major success. We were delighted to contribute £500 to help the hospice continue its amazing work during this tough time.”

Clyde Munro comprises 40 practices across Scotland, with more than 200 dentists, 350 staff and 300,000 patients. The group’s ambition is to become Scotland’s “local dentist”, operating an expanding network of family dentists across Scotland, with each devoted to providing the best dental care, while reflecting the needs and character of its community.

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