Seniors sing to their hearts content

2016-11-15 06:00
Judges of the Inter Home Choir Festival, Liz Roberts, Ricky White and Nokwe Dlamini.

Judges of the Inter Home Choir Festival, Liz Roberts, Ricky White and Nokwe Dlamini.

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THE Inter Home Choir Festival, an initiative of occupational therapist Felicity Crouch, has grown over the past three years.

This year saw 11 choirs from government Old Age Homes in the greater Durban area competing for the coveted title which The Issy Geshen Lamont Home for Aged won last year.

According to Crouch, singing is something that is so good for elderly folk. “Singing improves breathing and provides good exercise when movement is included,’’ explains Crouch.

“It is a time to reminisce, a time to socialise and bond with others into a tight group, it is a way of expressing oneself and it lifts the mood. Singing can be done from a standing or sitting position so people in wheelchairs are not excluded.”

The Issy Geshen Lamont Home, the competition organisers and hosts, secured funding from the National Arts Council and then promoted the competition by visiting 17 Old Age Homes.

“The Issy Geshen Choir travelled to Old Age Homes in Pietermaritzburg, Dundee, on the North and South coasts and in Durban central.

“They so enjoyed singing at the different Homes and telling the residents about the choir festival,’’ continues Crouch.

The 11 participating Homes, six up from the precious two years, were: Issy Geshen Home, John Dunn House, John Conradie House, Amaoti, Abalindi Old Age Home, St Antonine Home from Dundee, Emuseni Old Age Home from Edendale, KwaMashu Christain Care Society, Zibambeleni Old Age Home and Ekhanana and Verulam Day and Frail Care Centre.

The much anticipated event was held in the Muthande Community Centre in Lamontville and as the 400 guests and participants arrived the Muthande choir entertained them.

Ethekweni Municipality once again generously supplied the sound system and DJ as well as fruit for all the visitors and a delicious lunch.

The choirs were made up of frail, elderly folk beautifully dressed in their various uniforms and each choir had to sing two songs of their choice and were limited to a maximum of 15 members.

According to the audience and confirmed by the judges, Mrs Ricky White, Mrs Liz Roberts and Ms Nonkwe Dlamini, the standard was very high. After much deliberation, the following Homes took third, second and first place respectively: Zimbambeleni Old Age Home received R2 000 for achieving third position, KwaMashu Christian Care Society were handed a cheque for R3 000 for coming second while Tafta’s John Conradie House, first time participants, walked away with R5 000 for first place.

The morning ended off beautifully with the massed choirs singing the South African National Anthem.

Should you wish to find out more about the 2017 competition, please contact Felicity Crouch by

- Supplied.

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