Wow – this was an afternoon to remember. The Goldies charity representative in Braintree, Rob Cadman, had approached the choir to join in with their ‘Big Sing’. I don’t think any of us realised how such an upbeat event this would be.
The Charity was started in the West of England by Grenville Jones, who is also MD of the City of Bath Male Choir and other choirs in Bath, and has now spread across England and Wales. What an energetic pair Rob and Grenville Jones turned out to be. As well as organising ‘Big Sings’, regular singing, smile and activity sessions are held locally. They are aimed at older, lonely and isolated people. In Braintree Goldies works in partnership with Greenfields Community Housing and this event was also supported by local Lions and Rotary Clubs. The wider charity is supported by the Lottery and the Fowler and Smith Trust.
Over 100 people turned up for our ‘Big Sing’ and more chairs had to be put out to accommodate everyone. The Goldies have their own Songbook, consisting of the top 20 songs voted on by those who take part in the sessions. These range from ‘Summer Holiday’ by Cliff Richard to ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba. The afternoon started with ‘Summer Holiday’ sung by everyone – actions and dancing were encouraged throughout the afternoon. A great warm-up for the male voice choir. Everyone also joined in with ‘Delilah’, Bring Me Sunshine’ and ‘Que Sera Sera’.
The Choir had two sessions interspersed with sessions with the Goldies. The Choir’s favourites obviously hit the right note with the Goldies because they joined in with them as well. Favourites such as ‘Nessun Dorma’. ‘I write the Songs’, ‘Unchanged Melody’ and ‘What a Wonderful World’ were well liked.y
A particular highlight of the Goldies was ‘I am the Music Man’ by Black Lace as this included lots of actions which the choir jopined in with as well – including “clap your hands in the air”, “play the piano”, “play the bagpipes” and play the Dambusters”. There was a good selection of sandwiches, cakes and drinks for the break and, by the time it came for the end of the Big Sing, everyone felt that it had been a really fun afternoon which had lifted everyone’s spirits. If you get a chance to go along to one of these events in the future – don’t miss it.
Photography by Jackie Kelly