The Sun City Dulcimers and one of our Compass Club Members singing Amazing Grace.
Please note that I am separately posting a video of this event. It is essential viewing !
To all our volunteer musicians: Thank you for the music!
I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing
Cause everyone listens when I start to sing
I’m so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud
So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me.
From the song by ABBA
We play and sing music every day in our memory care center. We dance too, and then sometimes we sing karaoke style as the words appear on our big screen.
We sing while we exercise our bodies and we listen to patriotic music and watch an exercise team performing in time to the music.
Then on other days there are guest appearances from wonderful local choirs, bell ringers who have amazing chimes, and other talented musicians.
Nine years ago our Memory Care Specialist and Administrative Officer-the lovely Melissa- joined Memory Matters and brought with her Dale Nordby and “The Band” together with the amazing Norm Reeves who has just turned 101 years of age. Norm provides funny stories, ministry and prayer. The Band recently lost its wonderful bass player Pete but Dale, Desi and Joe continue to provide enjoyable and inspirational music to the Memory Matters Club members every Friday morning. Songs like “Wagon Wheel” which everyone likes to dance and singalong with, to the moving “Surely the presence of The Lord is in this place”. “The Band” as we know and love them were once called the Island Chaplain Minstrels and they still play and sing at Preston Hall in the Cypress community too.
In the photo above are Dale, Norm and Desi with Cathee (never shy!) entertaining our Club members.
We are blessed to have Dale and his friends join us for other events too. e.g the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party.
On Tuesday’s we are joined by the Memory Matters Merry Minstrels comprising any number of people and led by Kirby Sullivan. Regular contributors are Annie, Mike, Frank, Gregg and Bob. They even invite Volunteer Mike to play with them!
Kirby and friends: The Memory Matters Merry Minstrels.
We have wonderful choirs who visit on a regular basis, and these include the Belfair Singers.
The Sun City Rafferty Singers are a welcome group too as are another group from Sun City called “The Chimers”.
Another of our volunteers – Trish Elliot – plays violin and on a Monday will sometimes bring with her friends who play stringed instruments and the flute.
At every Thursday Connections class the lovely Gayle leads her custom designed yoga class that ends with therapeutic music and meditation
A Message to all Pianists in our Community
We have a beautiful Grand Piano in the memory care facility and we are currently searching for a volunteer pianist to entertain our Club members for up to an hour each week. If you are interested in volunteering you will be welcome! Please call Pat Cleary if you are interested in learning more. 1 843 842 6688.
We have so many artists and professionals who freely give of their time and talent to help our Club members living with memory loss, and I would be remiss if I did not include three fantastic solo guitarists who are regular contributors, namely Mitch, John and the amazing Dr. Paul!
Above in the colorful hat is our friend Mitch.
This last Tuesday we enjoyed a unique musical interlude from my niece Efa Harris-Davies who is visiting us from Wales. Now everyone knows that there are no finer voices anywhere in the world than those from the Welsh Valleys, and Efa proved that she is carrying forward this noble tradition. Volunteer Mike somehow managed to provide the backing to Efa’s beautiful rendition of the Welsh National Anthem (“Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” or “Land of my Fathers” in English). Efa sang in Welsh and then unaccompanied sang an enchanting version of the Welsh Hymn “Calon Lan” which translated means “A Pure Heart”. I must admit to being enthralled by Calan Lan, and later, prompted by Efa, showed a video recording of a 133 voice Welsh Boys Choir singing the song at “Britain’s got Talent” It is a captivating performance by “Only Boys Aloud” and the Club members loved it. So I played it again for the Club Members on Thursday who clapped and cheered the inspirational performance! I am attaching the link so that others might enjoy this too. Calon Lan
Last week we were entertained to a virtuoso performance on the Clarinet by Volunteer Bob’s grand daughter Rachael.
Bob and Rachael
Wednesday was another special musical day. We were joined and entertained by the Sun City Dulcimers. Wow! These folk are fantastic!
The Sun City Dulcimers with our Club members
Here is a little background to their music:
During the period from 1700 to the mid-1800’s, early forms of the mountain dulcimer were developed in the Shenandoah River Valley region of southwestern Pennsylvania and western Virginia. These early forms were a blend of British and Scottish musical traditions and European folk instruments, especially the German scheitholt and the Swedish hummel. The mountain dulcimer is classified as a diatonically fretted “zither” – a “zither” being an instrument with strings stretched across a box from end to end, and having no neck as do guitars and violins. “Diatonic” means that the instrument plays only the eight tones of a scale such as: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do.
Due to their simplicity in form and construction, dulcimers were popular for the music of the day in the mountain areas and were typically played by fretting the stings with a wooden dowel and strummed with a quill often made from a turkey feather. After the folk revival of the 1950’s and 60’s the dulcimer began to gain popularity. Today numerous dulcimer clubs have formed throughout the US, playing many forms of music including folk, gospel, and Americana. The Sun City Dulcimers is one such group and its members enjoy music and camaraderie on a weekly basis.
In the heart of the Lowcountry, just minutes from the sandy beaches of Hilton Head Island, Sun City may seem like an unlikely place to hear the twang of mountain music.
But these fine folk practice, play and tour.
The more people hear them play, the more they become interested in the sound of the dulcimer and the mountain music.
What do we learn from all of the above?
Music therapy provides a path for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. It provides positive sensory stimulation for the brain and enhances a person’s sense of well-being. Music aids the cognitive process and perceptions. Music is an outlet where all of us can express our emotional feelings. It makes us feel great when we can recall songs of yesterday, rhymes and lyrics. It provides relief from stress and tension. Music takes us to a happier place. It can change an emotion in a moment from frown to smile! Try singing in the shower! Music heals!
“Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent”. Victor Hugo
For information about Memory Matters including a free of charge memory test, please call 1 843 842 6688. All calls are treated with confidentiality.
Vision: Memory Matters optimizes brain wellness
Mission: Memory Matters optimizes brain wellness and memory care through education, programs, and support for individuals, care-givers in the Low Country community