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Dunedin Symphony Orchestra welcomes back musician, five years after horrific accident

If there’s one person who knows the true power of music, it’s Dunedin’s Nick Cornish.

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Nick Cornish, who plays the oboe, broke his neck in a 2015 mountain biking accident. Source: 1 NEWS

Back playing in the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, five years after a horrific accident.

“I pinch myself regularly and say I’m one of the lucky ones and I don’t take that lightly,” he says.

Nick, also a keen mountain-biker, nearly lost everything when he rode over a jump in Dunedin’s Redwoods mountain bike park in 2015.

“The weight over the bike was too far forward when I was going up and in to the air. I went over the handlebars and my head connected with the ground extremely hard,” he says.

Nick had broken his neck and would spend the next few months of his life in Burwood spinal unit.

“I don’t think anybody knew what was going to happen.”

Nick’s first realisation that he might never play the oboe again, was when he struggled to even grasp his mobile phone.

“The first time I tried playing, or even holding an oboe, I couldn’t even hold it.”

Months of uncertainty turned to years. But as life slowly returned to normal, so did his musical talents. Something he puts down to the power of music.

“Being able to express yourself through an instrument is a very powerful thing and that desire is the key to it. That passion to get back to it is something that motivated me hugely.”

“The act of playing music activates all your senses,” close friend Heleen du’plessis says.

ACC is also playing a big role in his recovery, supplying him with a glove to help his hand grasp the oboe.

Nick’s now completed his rehab, re-joining the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.

“They made me re-audition.”

Back doing what he loves and showing the true gift of music.