George Mackenzie House, November 2018
On Thursday 29th November we went back to George Mackenzie House for another afternoon visit, this time with a well-received Christmas theme.
For most of the day's volunteers it was our first trip with Sing Inside and although we were initially a little nervous, we were soon put at ease by the friendly atmosphere at George Mackenzie House. Both the staff and patients were happy to get involved straight away, helping to move the furniture around into a large welcoming circle, and after laughing about some silly vocal warm-ups everyone was enthusiastic to get singing! We sang a couple of Christmas classics with a bit of twist, which people really enjoyed – from 'Hark the Herald' with a very high descant to 'White Christmas' with the song's original introduction. We also learned 'Go Tell it on the Mountain' in two-part harmony, and I was really impressed both by how quickly the residents picked up the different parts and by the strong sound that we produced as a group. At the end of the afternoon we gathered for an informal concert to sing through what we'd been working on and our volunteers performed A Cappella arrangements of 'Away in a Manger' and 'Coventry Carol'.
The patients had kindly made us delicious gingerbread biscuits and cheesy pastries, so after the concert we all then guzzled these up and chatted over some tea and coffee. It was lovely to hear that people who'd been passing through had really enjoyed the space being filled with music, and that those who took part in the workshop had a really good time. We hope that it was a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and are looking forward to visiting again with new songs and even more harmonies!