Amateur musicians of all ages from across the city of York joined together this week at a musical extravaganza hosted by students and staff at Millthorpe School.
The Big Sing organised through Musical Connections, a small York-based charity, gave older adults, many of whom are vulnerable and socially isolated, the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of music together with school students and staff.
Musical Connections uses music as a way to help older people the opportunity to live happier, healthier lives through participating in weekly music groups and choirs. In addition to the core weekly sessions, the charity offers a programme of intergenerational projects and events which last year involved over 400 children and young people from local schools including Millthorpe, York College and both of York’s universities.
Fiona Chapman from Musical Connections said: “The purpose of our intergenerational work is to use music as a platform to bring older and younger generations together, and to break down the social and age-related stereotypes which apply to both of these generations. A wide range of musical styles and activities are used – these cut across the age range and facilitate interaction and communication between both younger and older participants.
“A real highlight of our intergenerational calendar is the Christmas Big Sing with Millthorpe School – they have hosted this event for us for many years, and I feel very fortunate that our beneficiaries have repeatedly had the opportunity to visit the school in order to spend time socialising with and enjoying the talents and hospitality of its young musicians.”
Millthorpe’s Head of School, Gemma Greenhalgh added “More than 60 older people, many of whom will be vulnerable and socially isolated came along to the event this year. Our Music teacher, Mr Jackson and his jazz band lead the proceedings, and the guests enjoyed refreshments served by the students. This year, we were delighted to be joined by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker – it was wonderful to see her enjoying the music alongside everyone else!”
If you would like to find out more about Musical Connections, please visit their website at www.musicalconnections.org.uk