The Parkinsongsters

Holy Trinity, Hastings, 23 October 2013

The Parkinsongsters were formed three years ago to support those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and their families and carers. Realising that vocal exercises can help to encourage and enhance the ability to breath and project the voice, Jane Metcalfe drew together a choir which has since launched itself in a number of highly enjoyable events, of which this lunchtime concert in Holy Trinity was the most recent.

The group obviously enjoy their singing and their enthusiasm is infectious. They opened with a brief sortie into The Mikado, moving rapidly to Handel. Gary Marriott gave us a mellifluous rendition of Where’er you walk (and how easily we take baroque ornamentation for granted these days!) before the choir sang Silent worship. This seemed to slip easily into Scarlet Ribbons, the sentimentality taken even further with a tear-jerking We’ll gather lilacs from Jane and Gary.

Members of the choir also brought us solos, with Bernard Crosby’s tongue-in-cheek And her mother came too and Stuart Baker’s moving account of Someone to watch over me. Stuart has had Parkinsons for over fourteen years and enjoys the opportunity to raise awareness and to demonstrate the importance of voice therapy in a very practical and effective way.

The concert ended with a hint at what is to come, with a selection of war time numbers in preparation for next year’s centenary.

A pleasure to hear the choir, and a full audience attested to their popularity. I look forward to their next appearance. BH

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