St Dominics' Choir

Formed mainly of residents, a few staff, volunteers and residents’ families we started the choir in the spring of 2013 and meet regularly for practice sessions with our very own ‘Gareth Malone’ in the form of the wonderful Liz Woodrow, a trained opera singer and singing teacher in her own right, accompanied by her talented sister on piano, Mary Lanchard.  The choir was the brainchild of Jean Dolmor, our Home Manager, and Sarah, one of our Community Volunteers, who provided the research and with her drive and determination orchestrated our first concert.    

We agree wholeheartedly with the research that singing for elderly people brings positive changes in moods and emotional states, stimulation that promotes interest, that it supports non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort and provides the opportunity to interact socially with others.  We have found the latter to be particularly true finding residents who do not usually venture into the lounge hearing the rousing chorus of voices and wanting to not only investigate but to join in and be included.

There are no auditions, everyone is very welcome and they pack the lounge on choir practice afternoons.  Under Liz’s expert tutorage the choir are duly warmed up with exercises, pursing lips, twisting tongues, lots of breathing (always helpful!), then we sing rounds and we sing parts.  This is not a sing-a-long and Liz is careful to choose songs to inspire and enliven the residents but also tunes they instantly recognise.  There is a lot of laughter, a lot of concentration, a lot of effort and a lot of joy.  We all leave humming the tunes, smiling and cheerful, spirits uplifted.

Three afternoon concerts have now been held thus far, followed by tea and cakes for the choir and audience, which gives everyone a chance to chat about the choir and their performance.

 

 

 



Freda and her daughter ready to sing in the concert, sporting their beautiful flowers made by the residents for the choir.

Some of our audience enjoying one of the concerts.

Ruby and Mr Banning having much too much fun at the concert this afternoon - not sure who was making who laugh more!