Music students in tune with Loanhead care home residents

Aspiring musicians from Edinburgh College blew residents away during a private garden concert at a Loanhead care home recently.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 1:00 pm
The garden concert at Mansfield Care's Pine Villa

The three performers, Nualla Macgregor, Seonaid Wilson and Chloe Mak, visited Mansfield Care’s Pine Villa to deliver an outdoor musical extravaganza consisting of singing, piano, clarinet and clarsach – a Celtic harp.

Inspired by a class project, the group, NCS Collective, chose to play for the care home after it was recommended to them by a teacher.

Band member, Seonaid said: “After hearing about the concerts our teacher had performed at Pine Villa, and how much the residents loved it, we all decided to perform there ourselves.

The garden concert at Mansfield Care's Pine Villa

“It was our first concert out of lockdown and first concert at a care home so we were especially keen to organise a socially distanced performance to bring some in-house entertainment while venues are still closed.

“It was amazing to finally be able to make music again and perform for other people. It was really gratifying.”

After hosting a successful concert in April, the group were eager to schedule a summer performance in the sunshine.

The band perform a variety of songs from Disney anthems to The Beatles, with the playlist selected by the residents themselves.

Clarsach player, Nualla, added: “It’s important to us that we perform songs the residents want to listen to, so we prepare a questionnaire with lots of different choices for residents to fill out.

“From there, we compile a set list and rehearse together ahead of the concert. Some top picks included Abba, Disney, The Beatles and pop songs – which were all so fun to perform and very different from our usual classical music set list.

“We’re hoping to keep this going on a regular basis and arrange for concerts every couple of months if we have the time and if the residents want us back.”

Denise Williams, Pine Villa Care Home manager in Loanhead, said: “It was amazing. We had residents tapping their feet and singing along, they really enjoyed it.

Margaret Morton, resident at Pine Villa said: “It was lovely sitting in the sunshine listening to the music.”

Fellow resident, Rena Flavell, added: “The harp music was very special, it was all really lovely.”

Musician Chloe said: “It was a great time! I think both the staff and residents really enjoyed it. The residents loved seeing all of our individual instruments and talents, so we prepared more solos as well as ensemble pieces.

“As classical performers, this isn’t something we usually get to do, so seeing how much everyone at Pine Villa enjoyed our performance was really inspiring and has definitely encouraged us to go back.”