RESIDENTS and friends of SignaCare Nursing Home in Killerig enjoyed a special treat when an inter-generational choir preformed a one-off festive concert for them.
The choir spans nine generations, with the youngest members hailing from fourth class in Grange NS, while the oldest nursing home member Paddy Gilman has just celebrated his 100th birthday.
Christmas carols and festive hits as well as songs of innocence and experience were all part of the choral repertoire that the young and not-so-young belted out together. Needless to say, it was a resounding success for the singers, the other residents, staff and family members who were invited to the performance.
The choir was set up earlier this year by musician, teacher and nursing home staff member Clara Hutchinson, who firmly believes in the magic that music can bring to people of all ages.
“There are so many benefits to this choir – the residents feel part of a community and that’s really important for them. The children bring a sense of youth, fun and energy into the home. It’s good for all of them because, in turn, the children develop empathy and to be conscious of how older people live. The children hear their stories and listen to their histories and how they lived their lives,” explained Clara.
Not only do the residents and the children think the choir is special, so, too, did a panel of judges at the recent Nursing Homes Ireland Care Awards, when they presented Clara with the prize for best community venture.
“The award made a huge difference to us, it’s very special,” said Clara.
Clara collaborated with principal of Grange NS Leah Mulhall and fourth-class teacher Eithne Molloy to set up the choir in February this year. Every Wednesday, the children walk from their classroom to the nearby SignaCare Nursing Home to meet their older best buddies and sing a few songs with them. The children have grown to cherish the outings as much as their older counterparts do, so it’s become a precious time for all of them, whatever time of the year it is.