Music students perform exclusive gig for care home residents

A trio of HND Music students blew care home residents away during a private garden concert.

The three performers, Nualla Macgregor, Chloe Mak and Seonaid Wilson, 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 Midlothian-based care home after it was recommended to them by their lecturers.

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

 “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 and are all 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.

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

20 year old 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.”