“Such a superb concert. I was awed by the huge talent of all of the singers.
I had not heard before of the charity Playlist for Life, which this concert was supporting. Given that each of the singers had been asked to choose their own song, it was amazing to listen to the variety of songs and the depth of emotions that were expressed.
Well done to everyone for an excellent evening and for giving their time and their talent to this concert. Well done for raising such a huge sum for the charity.” Derek M.
- a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event.
“the recording provides a souvenir of a great production”
- take as a memento.
“many stones from the beach have been souvenired”
Origin: late 18th century:
from French, from souvenir ‘remember’
from Latin subvenire ‘occur to the mind’
Thank you so much to everyone who came to join us on Friday for our first ever Summer Concert: A Souvenir.
The idea for this event was originally to raise money for a dementia charity. This was intended to be in memory of my mother-in-law Brenda, who passed away from Dementia on 9thNovember 2017: It was her birthday.
When organizing this concert, I asked my father-in-law which charity we should donate to and he chose Playlist for Life. I feel that the charity are a perfect choice, as they provide music for dementia patients. Every piece of music that we performed on Friday had a special memory attributed to it.
The idea that memories are contained in music is proven by science. ‘Flashback’ memories can be triggered by music taking us back to a vision of our past.
The stimulus I gave to the performers leading up to the concert was:
To choose a song about memory OR to sing a song that holds a memory for you.
I also asked everybody for 50 words to explain why they had chosen their respective songs.
What I had not expected was the unbelievable efforts these musicians went to in order to choose the perfect piece of music for the occasion. From songs chosen and discarded for another, to those who knew exactly what they wanted to sing straight away. We had a wide variety of music to share varying from: old and new, classical and pop, early music and rap, musical theatre and acoustic as well as songs used in film.
The personal stories shared provided a poignant “envelope of joy” (thanks Jamie for this title!) – The choices were made in memory of people we love, to recognize our own strength and the strength of others, to support those facing hardship, to thank people we care about for their honest friendships, to thank the supportive carers who look after our loved ones, to prove how we have each pulled through difficult times, to contemplate happiness and, importantly – to simply get lost in the enjoyment and nostalgia brought to us by listening to music we love, and have loved.
I am honored and humbled by the incredible stories that everybody shared – some stories were happy, some were sad, some were somewhere in between. Throughout the planning of the concert we initially set out to raise awareness of dementia – however, in addition we have been dealing with bereavement, troubled childhoods, coping with mental health, dealing with divorce, standing up to bullying, overcoming domestic violence and what I have learned in all of this is that:
Singing provides us with enjoyment, courage, escape and refuge from life’s many troubles. It inspires us to socialise and be a part of a friendly community to share our voices.
In the weeks leading up to the concert, two performers sadly lost their sister to dementia and another singer lost her Nan. We dedicated our music to their memory too. Many of our performers and our audience have been directly affected by the emotions presented when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. We hope that our donation to Playlist for Life will help bring music to those closest to us, as well as others around the world.
Friday evening also served as an exploration of new music. We hoped to provide inspiration to enjoy music from years gone by at home. There is so much magic to be found in songs from our past.
This concert allowed singers to showcase their hard work, talent and musical skills. Many of them sang in public for the first time and the support and gratitude from the audience was palpable. Without them, we would not have a concert to perform!
I also want to take a moment to reveal how incredible our community is – so many people joined us both to perform and watch, in order to support one another. It was a thrill to see so many friendly faces.
Finally, a big thanks to Liz for suggesting Newcastle Baptist Church to host this event and helping with all the organisation. Everyone has commented what a wonderful space you have there and we would love to come and sing again. Thank you to Annie for printing programmes and selling tickets on the door, to Lisa for her marketing skills and ticket sales, to Phil, Carol and Hattie working both in the kitchen and selling raffle tickets, to everyone who came out on a Friday to perform and especially to our audience for coming to watch our concert and helping us to raise such a huge sum of money.
Our final total raised for Playlist for Life was a whopping £650.88!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart – I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people who help bring an idea like this to life.
Love Kate x
PS. If you would like to donate to this fabulous dementia charity – you can do so by clicking HERE.
If you need support:
Alzheimer’s Society: National Dementia Helpline: 0300 222 11 22
MIND: Mental Health Helpline: 0300 123 3393
Samaritans: Confidential Support for those in distress or dispair: 116 123
NSPCC: 0800 1111 – Childline for children
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000 – For adults concerned about a child
Refuge: Dealing with Domestic Violence: 0808 2000 247
Cruse Bereavement Care: 0844 477 9400