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Mencap Choir Brings Royal Albert Hall To Abbeyfield

On Saturday 22 February, Keynsham & District Mencap Choir treated residents at our Keynsham house to songs from the choir’s 2019 performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Abbeyfield team members and volunteers of the house joined residents to an hour of songs from across the decades, including When the Saints Go Marching In, Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours and George Ezra’s Budapest.

The arrangement also included songs learnt by the group at The Music Man Project workshops in Keynsham, such as “Peace and Hope” and the National Music Man Project charity single from its album, “Music is Magic”, which recently topped the Amazon Broadway chart.

Abbeyfield Residents watch the Mencap Choir soloist from Keynsham Mencap Choir

Charlene Fleck house manager thanks the Mencap Choir

The project, a music group for people with a learning disability, is one of 10 groups run by the Keynsham & District Mencap Society.

“Musical opportunities should be accessible to everyone and it’s wonderful to be able to welcome the choir from Keynsham Mencap into our house, “said Abbeyfield House manager, Charlene Fleck. “In one way or another, music is special to all our residents but elderly people don’t have access to live performances very often. It’s been a really special morning.”

The group of adults from Keynsham & District Mencap attend weekly Music Man Project classes led by music graduate Naomi Tarrant.

Last year, the choir took part in Music is Magic, a special charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, featuring hundreds of musicians with learning disabilities from across the UK.   Said Mencap’s Laura Jeffries, “We are always looking for performance opportunities for our special musicians and to be able to bring some of the songs we performed at the Royal Albert Hall to local residents was wonderful. Everyone at Abbeyfield House was so welcoming and it was lovely to see residents joining in with some of the songs.”

The Music Man Project is the UK’s only full-time specialist music education service for children and adults with a learning disability and provides life-changing performance opportunities for people who face extraordinary challenges every day of their lives. Described by OFSTED as ‘an outstanding resource for schools’ and by Royal Mencap as ‘truly inspiring’, its work is currently the subject of a PhD research study at the Royal College of Music by Regional Director and Academic Advisor, Natalie Bradford. Music Man Project UK makes its Royal Albert Hall debut following a sell-out concert at the London Palladium, which was featured on BBC ONE Breakfast.

If you know of an opportunity for the choir to perform, please do get in touch with Keynsham & District Mencap.

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