About Allegro

Vision, Music and Movement in Perfect Harmony

Ballet Dancer and Optician form Harmonious Bond

Contemporary dancer turned movement practitioner Sam McCormick of Curel CIC discovered Allegro Optical through a Business Network International training course. BNI is a business network with chapters the world over, and Sam and Allegro Optical are both members.
Sam started chatting with our Managing Director Sheryl while on the course. We arranged to meet a week or so later to see if there was a way our two businesses could work together.
Ballet Dancer Sam Lackford / McCormick buys her glasses and contact lenses from Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham We were thinking maybe we could help Sam with our corporate eyecare connections. Curel delivers movement-based activities to help people live healthy and happy lives and one area they specialise in is workplace wellbeing, alongside team building sessions and engagement activities. We saw this as something our corporate eyecare clients might be interested in. Most of our corporate clients are very focused on employee wellbeing. We were sure Curel could provide them with a fantastic service while reducing absences and improving morale. Saving our clients time and money.

A clear vision

It was during this first meeting that Sam mentioned that she was having problems with her contact lenses. Sam is a very active lady, in addition to being the co-founder of Curel she is an independent dance artist. She is also Head of Dance for Flamingo Chicks, an inclusive dance school that provides opportunities for disabled children to enjoy ballet alongside their friends. As if that’s not enough Sam is an Associate Artist for English National Ballet, and she teaches at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. So as you can see she is very busy and as result spectacles aren’t really an option. So Sheryl suggested that Sam come to the practice for a consultation.

Ballet Dancer Sam Lackford / McCormick buys her glasses and contact lenses from Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham

Sam visited Allegro Optical in Meltham and we carried out a sight test and contact lens check-up. We found a large increase in Sam’s prescription, particularly her astigmatism. Sam’s astigmatism had increased so much she was now out of the range for standard and toric (astigmatic) lenses. We had no option than to source the bespoke soft contact lenses for her. Sam collected them a few weeks later and tried them for a fortnight when she returned to the practice. Sam was very happy with her vision in the lenses but felt her eyes were a little dry. As with all yearly soft lens they are slightly thicker than a regular silicone hydrogel lens. We resolved the comfort issue by using lubricants and changing Sams contact lens solution.

A perfect partnership

Thanks to the improvement to her vision provided by her new contact lenses and their extended wear time Sam can now get on with her busy life without worrying about her eyesight. She has also invested in a fabulous pair of glasses for contact lens rest days.  With frames from our FYSH range from Denmark and high index free-form single vision lenses Sam’s vision is now fully corrected. She also has a gorgeous pair of prescription sunglasses thanks to our amazing free second pair offer, now Sam is ready for anything. When asked about her experience with Allegro Optical Sam said “Huge thank you to Allegro Optical for your help sorting my contact lenses and finding me some lovely new glasses! Will be recommending you!” Ballet Dancer Sam Lackford / McCormick buys her glasses and contact lenses from Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham While all this was going on Sam and Sheryl also got to know each other’s businesses very well. As a result, we now always recommend Curel to our corporate eyecare clients to help them, help their teams reduce stress and sickness in the workplace.

When A Medical Condition Threatens A Musicians’ Passion

What can you do when your whole career is threatened by a medical condition?

When a musician suffers a medically threatening condition, no one realises what it means to potentially lose that vital part of your life your passion, your very being. ClassicFM has a heart moving blog all about one musicians’ battle with a painful neuromuscular condition which disrupted her career as a musician. Cor anglais player Davida Scheffers gave an emotional performance of ‘Schindler’s List’.  Despite her fear that she might never be able to play with a professional orchestra again, Davida’s dream was to play with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Last year, she managed it, read more at

Presbyopia and the musician

While we accept that ageing vision, or Presbyopia as it is known, is nowhere near as serious a condition it can threaten many musicians careers. Presbyopia is a form of progressive long-sightedness caused by the loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, occurring typically in middle and old age. Very few of us will escape presbyopia, even if you have never had a vision problem before. Even people who are short-sighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual spectacles or contact lenses to correct their distance vision. This can be problematic for a musician who will find their vision at the music stand distance severely compromised. Up until now, there have been no completely satisfactory solutions available to the musician. Some Opticians prescribe varifocals, however, the area of the lens for music stand is much to narrow. Even in the new freeform digital lenses, it’s a real compromise, forget sharing a stand! Some Opticians will suggest Computer or Office lenses, however, if you play in an orchestra you won’t be able to see your conductor clearly.

At Allegro Optical Opticians we specialise in helping presbyopic and older musicians to see the music.

As musicians ourselves we understand the many visual requirements placed on musicians. As a result, we have developed a selection of lenses designed and dispensed specifically to suit individual musicians needs. Creating a solution especially for the client, providing a perfect optical solution. We understand the variety of dispensing challenges that practitioners may face when a musician presents in practice, but as musicians ourselves we are able to meet their individual needs perfectly. If you are a musician who has problems seeing the music give us a call at Allegro Optical Opticians on 01484 907090 for advice or to book a consultation.
About Allegro Music

Now The Beat Goes On, For A Talented Pianist and Timpanist

Pianist and Timpanist Cheryl Bratkowski wanted to see the music

When playing timpani at the back of an orchestra, it can be very difficult to see the conductor at the front. Conductor’s batons are often a natural wood colour, which is hard to see, especially if a conductor wears a light-coloured shirt or jacket.

Cheryl Bratkowski like all good timpanists or percussion players has a superb sense of rhythm. She also has an instinct for drama and a feeling for the ensemble. However, sometimes she has to anticipate playing a wide variety of percussion instruments, relying on what she sees (the conductor’s beat, because she’s usually at the back of the stage where she experiences a slight time lag. If the conductor isn’t clear this makes things very difficult for Cheryl. Add to that, a problem with seeing the written music and Cheryl was really struggling.

Why Allegro?

Cheryl contacted Allegro Optical on the recommendation of two colleagues (a cellist and vioalaist) who had been delighted with the results their new glasses had given them. In addition to being a very talented Timpanist, Cheryl is also an accomplished pianist. She regularly accompanies students during their exams and again for this, she needs a wide field of view, as she is often playing and watching the student. Cheryl frequently also plays a Grand Piano and on these occasions, she uses an elevated music stand and has to glance frequently between the student, the examiner and see her the music.
Pianist Cheryl Bratkowski buys her glasses from Allegro Optical, The Musicians' in Meltham

An articulato solution

A high myope with pronounced astigmatism in her right eye Cheryl’s prescription is far from straightforward. The lens for her right eye will always carry a higher than average amount of distortion, so dispensing even freeform varifocal lenses would not have sufficed.  Because of the many working distances and varied music stand distances, designing Cheryl’s music lenses took quite a bit of planning to ensure both eyes worked together and gave Cheryl the widest possible field of view. We ran a couple of models and eventually settled on a completely bespoke design,  which gave her a wide field while maintaining plenty of depth at her music stand and a nice wide field for the conductor.

Pianist Cheryl Bratkowski buys her glasses from Allegro Optical, The Musicians' in Meltham

To complement her music glasses we dispensed Cheryl with a pair of Rodenstock Impression 1.67 lenses, with a solitaire Protect Coating to use on a daily basis.  Cheryl has been using her music glasses for some time now. When asked about her glasses she said: “At last I can see the conductor, music and the indices on the timps-all with the same glasses!”


Musicians can present the Dispensing Optician with a great many challenges. Mainly because of their varied working distances and strict seating positions. However, adding Cheryl’s high prescription and pronounced astigmatism in one eye, things became even more challenging. But as musicians ourselves, we’re able to ask the right questions and interpret the answers to create a truly unique pair of lenses. Using our combined optical and musical skills addressed and resolved the many visual problems Cheryl encountered.

As a specialist independent optical team, we are able to produce individual solutions to suit many musicians and performers needs. We work closely with the surfacing and glazing laboratory to give our musician’s’ the very best solution available. This service is not available anywhere else and we approach the problem in a completely different way to any other Opticians’. By looking at the vision problems from the musician’s perspective we are able to solve their many visual challenges.  Our unique lens designs enable us to design a solution to suit all types of performers and we have built up a considerable following of performing arts professionals as a result.

Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham The Musicians' Optician

Award WInning Eye Care

In less than two years Allegro Optical Opticians has been shortlisted for the Yorkshire and Humberside Federation of Small Businesses, Celebrating Small Business Awards, for the Start-up Business of the Year category. Our Co-founder and Dispensing Optician Sheryl Doe has also reached the finals of the Opticians Awards Dispensing Optician  Of The Year award, one of only three professionals to do so. We are proud winners of the Eaton Smith Business of the Month award, an award given in conjunction with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and The Department for International Trade. We have also been shortlisted in three categories of the 2018 National Best New Business Awards.

ALLEGRO OPTICAL IN MELTHAM are optician_awards_finalist_image Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham finalists in the FSB Awards

Allegro Optical are winners of the Eaton Smith BOTM

Allegro Optical Opticians are finalists in the Best New Business Awards

At Allegro Optical we are passionate about helping to correct the specific visual problems faced by musicians and performers. We provide a range of tailor-made solutions and services including our on-site vision assessments. Using specialist optical technology our team of professionals can visit any musical institution to help those affected by reduced visual clarity. Our team has built up a broad client base, from professional classical musicians to members of well-known brass bands and many keen amateurs. We have also helped music teachers, performers, TV presenters and many keen amateur musicians of all genres. We love helping musicians to see their music again and in turn extending their playing careers.

If you are a musician and you are struggling with your vision call us on 01484 907090.

About Allegro Music News

Meltham’s Scarecrows Were Quite a Spectacle

The Scarecrows of Meltham created quite a spectacle at the village festival

Meltham was a hub of activity during the annual May Day Scarecrow Festival and we enjoyed the best weather ever recorded for the bank holiday. Residents, School’s, Community groups and Businesses all pitched in and created some fabulous Scarecrows which were all displayed along a route through Meltham.


With over 60 exhibits the judges had a tough job as they made their way around the route, critiquing all the entries in each category. In addition to the Scarecrow trail, there was live music, street food, craft stalls and much more as people from Meltham, Holmfirth, Huddersfield and Saddleworth came along to enjoy the festivities.

Bertie Bassett Scarecrow Allegro Optical Opticians organisers of Meltham Scarecrow festival

Allegro Optical Opticians organisers of Meltham Scarecrow festival

As one of the organiser of the event Allegro Optical Opticians was in the thick of it. Our team were all there volunteering to help make the event a success. Selling programmes, manning the Meltham Business Association Stall and even putting up and taking down the gazebos and marquee. Our very own Managing Director Stephen Tighe was one of the judges and he probably had the toughest job as he tried to choose an overall winner.

Meltham Optics window scarecrow fest-our window 2018 close upMaypole Scarecrows 2018 Meltham Opticians

Foxhole Scarecrow 2018 Meltham Scarecrow Festival Opticians

At Allegro Optical we believe in supporting Meltham and its community. The local residents have welcomed us so warmly and really taken the business to their hearts, so we try to give something back as a thank you.  Allegro Optical Opticians provide professional, ethical and affordable eyecare to the local community. To book your appointment with the team that cares call 01484 907090

The staff of Allegro Optical Opticians on the Meltham Business Association Stand