At the start of December, our Communications and Engagement Officer, Anna Boad had the pleasure of joining Honeysuckle Singers, a Musical Connections group, who meet at St Edward the Confessor Church on Tadcaster Road every Wednesday. Here, Anna tells us about her experience…
I’m still relatively new to York and the surrounding area so when I was asked if I would like to join a Musical Connections singing group to see the work they are doing in York, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed.
The moment I walked into the room where the Honeysuckle Singers meet, I felt instantly welcome. Although I think I sound like Mariah Carey in the shower, I have no singing experience (or real talent) and I have never sung in public before. But that didn’t matter. I was instantly included in the group and given song sheets. I felt that I could get involved in as much or as little as I felt comfortable with.
“It really does lift your spirits, it makes us so happy” – Dot, Honeysuckle Singer
We started with some ‘warm-up’ sessions consisting of breathing exercises and voice ‘warm-ups’. One of the singers, John, told me that he had experienced some bad health recently and had joined the group to improve his health – he has already seen a marked improvement in his lung capacity which is fantastic news!
The group were busy practicing for their upcoming sponsored Christmas ‘singathon’ at Tesco Askham Bar on 18 December, to raise money for the charity. The ‘singathon’ involves singing for 1 hour straight, with only 10 seconds breather allowed between each song. Although not a confident singer, I found the group’s enthusiasm, talent and warmness infectious; I was singing along to all the festive tunes as if I’d been in the group for years!
It was an absolute pleasure meeting the members of the group and I left feeling thoroughly festive with a great big smile on my face. If you would like to get involved or know of anyone who loves music and singing, I would encourage you to get in touch with Musical Connections and try a session.
The Musical Connections weekly community music groups and choirs are open to everyone with every range of ability catered for. No musical training or experience is necessary with the musical programmes challenging age-related stereotypes, and embracing intergenerational activities. You can visit their website at musicalconnections.org.uk to find out more and discover where your local group meet.
“I just love singing, I’m always happy on a Wednesday morning… try it and see how happy it makes you” – Honeysuckle Singer
If you would like Anna to visit your organisation and write a blog piece or article for Voluntary Voice, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.