~ October 2015
Our Instant Choir for LUMINATE 2015, with Jubilee Care Home
Four weeks into our second project with the inspirational Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, and we’re having so much fun it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to leave Jubilee House after each singing session.
The Instant Choir concept has been made possible by 5 enthusiastic members of our Usher Hall based Love Music Community Choir who have joined us at each session, adding strength and depth to the overall sound, and also providing buddy-support for residents at Jubilee House who benefit from more personalised encouragement and support.
Our repertoire deliberately leaps around from Nina Simone to The Platters and Bob Marley, from Lonnie Donegan to Rodgers and Hammerstein and a traditional Scottish air. We’re even having a go at some skiffle-influenced washboard percussion grooves, ably mastered by 94 year-old Cath.
The focus, as always, is shared between ensuring everyone is having a fun and rewarding experience, and doing this by making the best music we can. We have learned (and are still learning) lots of words, and some of the faster patter-based material is a tongue twister, but we’re not giving up.
Our most distinguished singer so far has been Ann, aged 101, who joined us with her daughter during the last session.
There have been some lovely connections made. One of our singers was a long-standing pianist for a church choir. Another was a back-stage costume-hand at the Kings Theatre, thrown onto stage in a nun’s outfit to bump up the chorus numbers (guess the musical). Yet another, a budding young musician awarded an international scholarship to travel to the UK in her youth to study music – an opportunity which, regrettably, she was never able to take up.
These singing sessions have been full of life, full of laughter, and quite hard work too. We sing a lot in an hour and our efforts are rewarded by a welcome cup of tea.
We have two more sessions to go, with an informal sharing session for friends and family in our sixth week, and then some thinking about how we might develop some long-term sustainable links between Love Music and Jubilee House.
Thank you to Luminate and all the residents participating in Jubilee House’s Instant Choir experiment for giving it your all.