Siobhain OHiggin runs the Aviemore Half Marathon – Read her story
Lost Chord takes live music to dementia sufferers. Pairs of musicians turn up on a monthly basis to perform for them, taking care to bring music that is likely to be familiar to the listeners, therefore more likely to stimulate memory recall and to enable them to join in. The regular fixture of these concerts in the care homes gives the residents something of a reliable quality to look forward to, and allows them to put forward specific requests.
Perhaps 10 years ago now, I was performing one of these concerts with my friend Lucy. It was an average-looking care home, with some people joining in whilst others were present yet distant. One lady, Jean, appeared rather grumpy initially, but when we played a song that clearly meant something to her, she started to join in, and from that moment we couldn’t keep her down! Another lady present was silent and unresponsive throughout, with no light in her eyes, and no sign of any recollection of the music, until, as we packed up, I played one last song. Margaret started to sing along, and Jean burst into tears. They were sisters, and Margaret hadn’t spoken for three years. Jean had given up hope of hearing her sister’s voice again, so this occasion was a dream come true for her. She started to tell us how the two sisters, known as the Thompson Sisters, had sung to the troops, at a time when all the songs we presented formed a part of their own repertoire.
I will never forget that experience – so much of the music I have been trained to perform is for audiences of sufficient means to buy tickets, yet the most powerful reaction I’ve ever seen was this, in a care home, where somebody regained the power of speech through the power of music.
By donating you can help Lost Chord to keep these concerts regular fixtures on the calendars of the homes. By donating you can also make me not mind the pains in my ankles and knees.
To make a donation please visit: Siobhain’s Just Giving Page
If you have an interest in running or if you have ever wanted to challenge yourself for a good cause, then please consider taking part in The Vitality Big Half Marathon to raise money for Lost Chord. It is taking place on the 10th of March 2019 throughout London, and there will be a diverse cultural festival taking place simultaneously at the finish line in Greenwich Park.
There is also the Sheffield Half Marathon on the 14th of April 2019 that incorporates a great scenic route of the Peak District. If you would like to take part in either of these events and sponsor Lost Chord, please message us or call 1709 811160.