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Allegro MD takes on the MD role at Kippax Band

Stephen Tighe is the new man in the middle

Allegro Optical’s joint Managing Director, Mr Stephen Tighe, is a very busy man. Not content with his ever increasing role within Allegro Optical Ltd, Stephen has taken the helm at the Leeds based Kippax Band, as their new Music Director.

Stephen Tighe MD Kippax brass band allegro optical britains first bapam registered opticians specialists in eyecare for musicians and performers in meltham huddersfield holmfirth Saddleworth Oxford London

Having performed with some of the country’s top brass bands as both a Trombonist, Arranger, Composer, Music Adjudicator and MD, he is very well known and respected within the brass banding world.

Band Chairman Colin Moss commented: “It was clear from Stephen’s astute observation that he was clear about the work needed for the band to achieve success. We believe his experience shows that he has the musical calibre to take us there. We are all looking forward to working with him.”

Stephen was a key team member in setting up Allegro Optical Ltd (The Musician’s Opticians). However, within just four months of opening the doors of the new Meltham practice, he was taken seriously ill.  Following complications of a routine operation, Stephen spent three months in hospital. He returned to the business on a part-time basis in April of this year and has now resumed his full-time role.

Stephen Tighe MD Kippax brass band allegro optical britains first bapam registered opticians specialists in eyecare for musicians and performers in meltham huddersfield holmfirth Saddleworth Oxford London

Stephen said “It was a bit of a last minute decision to apply for the role at Kippax, but I’m delighted to accept the challenge. I feel refreshed and ready to work hard to re-establish the band’s credentials. I have more free time now than I previously had and I will be trying out some new ideas in concert work”.

Stephen will take up the baton at the Yorkshire Second Section band from September and his role is to help return one of the world’s oldest brass bands back to success into 2019 and beyond.

The announcement was made on 4BarsRest earlier this week. Read more at

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Cellist Now Has Sharp Vision And Fewer Blurred Notes

Nicky was looking for help to see the music

Freelance Cellist and Pianist Nicky Woods from Harrogate became aware that the music on her stand wasn’t as sharp as it could be. Thanks to the recommendations from colleagues Fiona Mayo, Gillian Charters and Cherry Bratkowski Nicky discovered  Allegro Optical Opticians. Fiona suggested that she should contact us as we are specialist musicians’ opticians. Nicky has a very high myopic prescription and she is a long-term varifocal wearer. Like many of the musicians, Nicky was finding the middle distance area of her current varifocal lenses very restrictive. Particularly at the distance of her music stand. Nicky was wearing very good high index varifocal lenses by Zeiss, a well-respected lens manufacturer. Unfortunately, these lenses still didn’t provide a wide enough field of view at the distances she required.

When the music isn’t clear

As is the case for many musicians, they often use a music stand off centre and to one side. The need to be able to read the music at an angle. When wearing varifocal lenses this can become challenging as they are designed to give clear vision while looking straight ahead.

Due to Nicky’s very high prescription, her lenses will always carry a higher than average amount of distortion. So dispensing even freeform design lenses would not have sufficed. We dispensed Nicky with a pair of high index freeform varifocal lenses for daily use and a second pair of our “performers” lenses with a much wider field of view at the music stand distance. The new lens design gives her a wide central field and much clearer vision to her left and right. The new lenses provide a clear view of the conductor and sharp focus of her music on the stand, she also has sufficient clear vision to notate the manuscript when needed.

A high-performance solution for a high prescription

We took into account Nicky’s seating and playing position and the offset position of the music stand allowing her to play the Cello and Piano with ease. Then we dispensed a plotted “performers” lens designed to take into account all Nicky’s working distances. We also measured and plotted the area and angle of her visual field at each distance. Once that was complete we adapted the music stand distance to give her as wide a field of view at the music stand distance to enable her to see two full pages of sheet music, thus making it easier to concentrate on playing rather than seeing.

Nicky took to her new music lenses almost straight away, really noticing the wider field of view and the enhanced playing comfort. Nicky saidit’s brilliant to be able, finally, to concentrate on playing the music rather than worrying about seeing it – or not seeing it!.”


Musicians can present a great many dispensing challenges. Mainly because of their varied working distances and strict seating positions. As musicians ourselves, we’re able to ask the musicians the right questions, and interpret their answers. Using our combined optical and musical skills we can address and resolve the many visual problems encountered by mature musicians.

As a specialist optical team we are able to produce individual solutions to suit many musicians and performers needs. This service is not available anywhere else and we approach the problem in a completely different way, looking at it from the musician’s perspective.

A unique approach

Our unique lens designs enable us to solve musicians and performers unique visual problems. We have built up a considerable following of performing arts professionals as a result.

It’s been less than twelve months since we opened our brand new practice in Meltham and we’re already getting noticed. Allegro Optical Opticians has been shortlisted numerous awards including; 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 been named as a finalist in this year’s Optician Awards, Dispensing Optician of the year award. She also won the National Best New Business, Entrepreneur of the year award.

Allegro Optical, the musician's optician in Meltham near Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Saddleworth

Allegro Optical are a BAPAM (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) registered practitioner we are passionate about helping to correct the specific visual problems faced by musicians and performers. Providing a range of tailor-made solutions and services including on-site vision assessments. Using specialist optical technology for those affected by reduced visual clarity. The team have 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 extending their playing careers.

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It’s a UK first for Allegro

We’re Britain’s very first BAPAM registered Optical Practice

We are delighted to announce that we have become the UK’s first and only BAPAM (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) registered optical practitioner.

Allegro Optical, the musician's optician in Meltham near Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Saddleworth

BAPAM is a healthcare organisation providing medical advice to people working and studying in the performing arts. The organisation helps performers overcome (and preferably avoid) work-related health problems, and are dedicated to sharing knowledge about healthy practice. (BAPAM) maintain a Directory of practitioners with expertise in performing arts healthcare. Allegro Optical in Meltham is the first opticians in the UK to be accepted onto the register thanks to their specialism in this field. Practitioners listed on the Directory are appropriately insured, qualified and attend specialist training events to maintain their listing.

Taking the music world by storm

We have seen rapid growth since opening our new opticians’ practice in Meltham in March 2018. Having taken the music world by storm with our unique approach to performers eye care, we are now working closely with musicians from some of the major national and international orchestras.  Including, The Halle orchestra in Manchester, The English National Ballet Orchestra and the Dublin RTE concert orchestra.

As  (BAPAM) practitioners performers can rest assured that all Allegro Optical’s professional team are expert clinicians and fully understand the demands of a performing arts career. They can give full advice about performer’s visual problems including playing-related optical injuries, pain, tension, hypermobility, performance anxiety and stress resulting from reduced vision. With our unique range of lenses developed by ourselves and one of the UK’s leading optical laboratories, we are able to find a solution to most performers vision problems.

Allegro Optical in Meltham, the musician's opticians specialist eyecare for performers

A Specialist Musician’s Optician

At Allegro Optical we provide consultations at our practice in Meltham. We also have a peripatetic clinic which can visit all the major musical institutions providing onsite optical solutions to all ensemble members. 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 we are able to address and resolve the many visual problems encountered by musicians and performers.

Allegro Optical specialises in all aspects of musician’s vision correction to return and enhance musicians playing pleasure and performance experience.  The team has over 150 combined years’ experience in the optics and entertainment industry. Whether you want advice or a practical solution call Allegro Optical on 01484 907090 or visit

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Eye garden is quite a spectacle

The Perfect Site For Sore Eyes

Those who follow our social media will have noticed some posts recently talking about our eye garden. We have been nurturing our eye garden since the early spring and bringing along some beautiful and tasty plants.  These plants provide all sorts of nutrients which are so good for eye health such as vitamins C and E, lutein and zinc which might help ward off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham Eye Garden near Huddersfield and Homfirth July 18

Our Vegetable “eye” Patch

We’ve been inviting local people to come and help themselves to our delicious vegetables and herbs. Not only do they look fabulous, brightening up our little practice, they are all really good for eyes. So here’s a quick rundown of this years crop and what each plant does for your eyes.


It’s no accident tomatoes are dubbed a superfood, they are a big eye health vegetable. Tomatoes contain calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, some B vitamins and vitamin A which produces beta-carotene including lutein and lycopene which are really good for preventing macular degeneration.


Carrots contain lots of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which can contribute to eye health and provide a fantastic source of eye vitamins for macular degeneration and cataract sufferers. Rhodopsin is also abundant in carrots, it’s really good for the retina and is a pigment that helps us see in low light situations. It’s true, carrots really do help us see better in the dark.

Peas, Beans, and Greens

Beans and Peas add zinc to our diet. Zinc helps release vitamin A from the liver so that it can be used in eye tissues. Meanwhile, a zinc deficiency can cause deterioration of the macula, in the centre of the retina.

Kale is so good for eye health, although we didn’t do too well with it. The blooming caterpillars have eaten the lot, so they must have really healthy eye now! Kale, Red and dark green Cabbage (They’ve eaten that too) and dark Lettuce all contain lutein and zeaxanthin, both are important nutrients that have antioxidant functions in the eye, they help to prevent cell damage. We have lutein and zeaxanthin as pigments in the retina at the back of the eye.

The Herb Garden

Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham Eye Garden near Huddersfield and Homfirth July 18

Basil is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Good amounts of other nutrients that can be found in holy basil are dietary fibre, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. The vitamin A in the basil is superb in upholding the health of the eyes. It averts diseases, like night blindness.

Parsley again contains Vitamin A which helps prevent illness by fighting bacteria and viruses. This vitamin also prevents infection in the eyes and dry eye disease.  In addition to the vision benefits of beta-carotene and vitamin A, a tablespoon of parsley contains 211 micrograms of lutein and zeaxanthin. These are carotenoids with antioxidant benefits for eye health. Their job is to counteract cellular damage from environmental exposure to harmful light rays. This exposure can result in the development of macular degeneration. Increasing the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin you eat can decrease the risk of developing cataracts.  

Growing Meltham

We are now working with Edible Meltham a local group who are encouraging us all in the area to ‘grow our own’ fruit, vegetables and herbs. The group runs numerous community projects, with seed distribution, local beds and lots of fun activities for all ages.