…a subject very dear to my heart. We in the North are immensely privileged in being able to enjoy the many musical delights offered by Sage Gateshead and I should like to make a plea on behalf of all those older people who, like me, have benefited from the Silver Programme.
In retirement years I have, at last, become a singer – only a run-of-the-mill, second-row-of-the-altos type of singer, but a singer none the less. For that short time, whenever I sing with the Silver Breves, I too become a musician. This is a wonderful feeling! Singing is an exercise for both body and mind, it makes you feel good about yourself; it gives you a purpose in life. Now that I have less energy and fitness than I once had, it is the only thing that I do, for myself, outside the home and I miss it very much. Singing along to the radio just isn’t the same: you need the support of your fellow-singers and the encouragement of your conductor. I know that I am just one of the many, many singers, both amateur and professional, who are suffering from choir deprivation in the present crisis, but without the singing I feel quite bereft and cannot wait to get started again.
As things are at the moment, however, the future for choral singing still looks bleak with no early prospect of return. So, my hope is that, when eventually Sage Gateshead is able to resume its activities, it will continue to promote the Silver Programme and to extend and develop it for the greater enjoyment of the many older people like me who aspire to become musicians.