NEW! DUNDEE 2010 (Scroll down)
Cromarty, 9th April, 2009
Thank you to Wanda, Betsy, 'Fourways' and all the residents of Cromarty who gave us such a warm welcome on this, the first 'Away Day' for Sing Together - Naturally! (STN!) under the banner of Generations Singing Together (GST).
The event which was held in the town's lovely Victoria Hall was attended by around sixty five folk aged between five and eighty five. Everyone really entered into the 'Sing Together spirit' as they sang well known tunes and simple but effective harmonies with gusto! The residents closed with a resounding performance of 'The Cromarty Song'
After saying our 'goodbyes' and 'thank you's' (the refreshments were plentiful and first rate, by the way) we left for our overnight stop at Coylum Bridge feeling quite sad at leaving our new found friends, but satisfied knowing that the first ever Sing Together to be done 'away from home' had been an unqualified success.
Feedback from Cromarty
"Absolutely and utterly fantastic! Can't wait for the next session."
"I came with my six and eight year old kids and we all really loved it - so 'Well Done!' for reaching different generations. Great choice of songs, as most folk knew them (or at least some). We thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to do it regularly."
"Stuart is very charismatic and a great leader."
"Really enjoyed this afternoon - just the right mix of styles and length of time. You pitch it perfectly (excuse the pun!)."
"Fantastic! Great fun and a really worthwhile musical experience. Great harmonies."
"Absolutely fantastic. 'X Factor' material!"
And this email from a Cromarty participant:
"I've just been reading all about Sing Together on your website and thought I'd send you an e-mail to say how much I'd enjoyed the Cromarty event.
I had such a wonderful time, and like everyone else I expect, I've been wandering around ever since wishing it could be a weekly event. Not only that, but I can't quite remember how the end of Chim Chim Cher-ee, second part, went and it's driving me dotty!
I'll certainly tell people at work all about it - I'm part of an organization that supports health service users and carers - since I think you said you might be able to provide a session for health groups?
Many thanks for coming all this way, Stuart, and to your great family too."
"........ as for the singing, everyone is just raving about how brilliant it was - I felt high the rest of the night and so did everyone else I spoke with - so it really was musical medicine. It was a brilliant day and I am so glad that you came to do it in these 'doom and gloom' times when we have to keep the spirits up - you did just that!"
And this forwarded 'chat' between two Cromarty Participants:
"I just wanted to say thank you for the fantastic event last week in Cromarty. It must have been a tremendous effort - but what a terrific turnout, and what a great afternoon it was - and the best tea I've had in years, too! I am so glad that I happened to glance at the Courier the week before.
Many thanks indeed for organizing it, and to everyone else who was involved, too."
"Yes, it was an absolutely fantastic day; Stuart is a gem. Everyone I have spoken to said they loved it, so we will definitely need to try and get him back again. I felt good all night after it and so did all the rest I spoke to, so it really was 'musical medicine'.
I am so glad you enjoyed it, many thanks for coming."
See us 'in the news' on the Cromarty website here
Carnoustie, 14th May, 2009
A huge thank you to Margaret, Graeme, Ian, Alan and everybody at the Panmure Centre who helped to make the Carnoustie Sing Together - Naturally! (STN) a rip-roaring success. A particular mention must go to Ann Craig who, not really knowing what to expect, invested so much time and energy into the planning of the event which went under the banner of Generations Singing Together (GST). 'Above and beyond the call of duty' is a phrase personified by the lovely Ann - a people person par excellence.
Enthusiasm, a great sense of fun and a willingness to 'make contact with the child within' characterized STN 'Carnoustie style'. Thanks to all of you for giving us such a friendly welcome and, of course, for the super refreshments and hospitality. We made it back home by 2 am, tired but with a warm glow thinking of everyone we had met, satisfied with a job well done and eager to return to Angus.
Happy Birthday! for the third time to Carol.
Feedback from Carnoustie.
"What a happy experience. A fantastic idea, everyone participated with such enthusiasm which wasn't surprising because Stuart, himself, gave his all. Sincerely hope this is the start of something worthwhile in Angus."
"Sing Together is a marvelous opportunity for family and friends to get together for fun. It has been a lovely evening - Thank you and come back soon."
"It was an extremely enjoyable two hours - they flew past. You, Stuart, made it real fun and I thank you!"
"Loved it!! Not done harmonies for years. I so want to do more. All the happy hormones 'kicked in'".
"I really enjoyed it and haven't laughed so much for ages. I felt like I was twelve again!"
"A very happy group of singing voices, greatly due to Stuart and his encouraging manner."
"Much better than staying at home. The company was great."
"A lovely happy atmosphere. I enjoyed every moment. Please, Stuart, come back and give us more. Wonderful!"
"Great fun! It was really enjoyable to keep moving on without worrying about each song. Good mix of material."
"Bring on the next time! Thanks very much to Stuart, Linda and family."
"A pleasure to have been in the audience, I will certainly spread the word. Never knew I could enjoy singing so much."
"This was a wonderful evening - a real fun time, giving us the chance to sing together no matter how good our voices were. A very fine idea."
"Thoroughly enjoyed it. The atmosphere was brilliant. Everyone joined in. Stuart has a great personality which encourages everyone whether they can sing or not. Hope we have more of these sessions - it did us the world of good."
"Thank you Stuart, you were a natural; encouraging fun and a 'feel-good' mood. It was super to see a mixed age group - a true community coming together."
"A great way of getting people together of all ages, all walks of life who didn't know each other before."
"I enjoyed myself immensely and would like more of this. Please come back!"
"Brings together lots of people who are mostly unknown to each other, but it shows they can sing together and have fun."
Arbroath, 5th June, 2009
Thank you once again to Ann Craig (this time ably assisted by Margo from Angus Gold) for hosting this successful event, attended by fifty enthusiastic participants of all ages. Held in the Assembly room of the magnificent Webster Memorial Theatre, the evening was a fitting end to phase one of Generations Singing Together (GST), held all over Scotland in association with the Scottish Centre for Intergenerational Practice (Scotcip).
The friendly Arbroath crowd sang, harmonized, and got in touch with their collective inner child as they romped through two and three part arrangements of folk, pop, songs from the shows and many more. They quickly got to grips with the unique format of Sing Together - Naturally! which combines singing, fun and entertainment for all the family in a 'for one night only' experience where the audience is the star!
We arrived home at 1.00 am filled with memories of a wonderful evening in the company of our friends in Angus and hoping that it won't be too long before we meet again.
Feedback from Arbroath.
"An excellent experience when sheer pleasure burst forth - a great achievement in community togetherness. Hope it happens again soon."
"Great to be able to join 'old' and young together in a fun activity. Would love to do this again."
"Absolutely fantastic evening. Stuart's enthusiasm makes it impossible not to participate and have a very happy time. Let's hope there is more to come in Angus. Thank you so much for a memorable evening."
"Wonderful! Enjoyed every minute. Uplifting and relaxing. I loved it!"
"Another wonderful evening Stuart. A chance to forget our cares. I look forward to the next time - a wonderful chance to sing."
"I enjoyed it so much, both at Carnoustie and in Arbroath. Thank you very much."
"Outstandingly good! Delighted to be singing again after a long absence. I loved your energy and stories."
"I haven't sung since school days and I am now approaching 60. I thought it was excellent and I enjoyed the process very much!"
"Thank you for the experience. I did a lot of singing, particularly in choirs before leaving home at 19 years of age. I hope you can do more sessions and set up a choir in Angus/Arbroath."
"I only came along as my wife is in a wheelchair but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would love it to become an ongoing event."
"Brilliant choice of songs. Great fun singing in a very relaxed and happy atmosphere. Thank you for all your hard work."
"Very entertaining - good for coordination and memory."
"I loved it! You are so enthusiastic. Can you come back soon?!!"
"A wonderful night. Stuart works very hard to make everyone happy. Thank you very much!"
"Great fun - we want more".
"Fantastic fun. Every town should have one!"
"Hugely enjoyable - thank you to Stuart, Linda and family for bringing this to Angus. Provided a rare opportunity for communal singing for those who do not feel good enough to audition for a choir. There are few opportunities to sing in this way. I hope Angus Gold will feel able to progress this in some form on a regular basis."
Dundee, 26th February, 2010
Thank you to Alan, and everyone at the Grey Lodge Settlement, Dundee who gave us such a warm welcome on this, the fourth 'Away Day' for Sing Together - Naturally! (STN!) (and the first of 2010) under the banner of Generations Singing Together (GST).
The Grey Lodge Settlement is an amazing organisation which caters for around 700 folk of all ages each week. Its activities include playgroups, a creche, youth-work, inclusion projects, over-fifties clubs, tea dances, out-reach to those in sheltered housing, huge fund raising events, foreign exchanges, mentoring, liaison with volunteer agencies, supporting local bands, media projects and work with looked after children. Its intrepid leader is a truly inspirational man - Alan Duncan. Alan invests so much time, energy and emotion into his work and is one of the most enthusiastic, caring and hard working people we have ever met. Over many years Alan and the rest of the team at Grey Lodge have helped countless individuals to turn their lives around. Dundee should be very proud of the work done by Alan and everyone at the Grey Lodge Settlement.
The event, which was held in the Grey Lodge Settlement building on South George Street, was attended by around fifty eight folk aged between four and eighty-ish! Everyone really entered into the 'Sing Together mood' as they sang well known tunes and 'instant' harmonies with great enthusiasm. The evening concluded with a rousing rendition of 'The Young Austrian' and a standing ovation.
After saying our 'goodbyes' we left for home - a snowy journey that saw us land back at 'base camp' at around 2 am - happy that our visit to the Grey Lodge Settlement had been a success.
Feedback from Dundee
"A very enjoyable experience. I didn't know what to expect - Boy! - Did I get the most wonderful shock? Thank you to you and your family for harmless, wonderful fun - a rare thing today. Thank you so very much for coming - hope to see you again."
"Fantastic - I hope there will be more, more, more!"
"I had a most enjoyable evening. I was feeling a bit down but soon we were all happy! Really looking forward to meeting you again and introducing you to more of our friends."
"Please come back and do this again!"
"Excellent night I really enjoyed myself. My daughters aged 8 and 13 had a great time - Really good songs - Thank you!"
"Such good fun!"
"Fantastic, Brilliant! Very entertaining. Good to hear people enjoying themselves."
"Great night - Lot's of fun and laughter!"
"Thank you for a wonderful evening. It was really good fun - all our group enjoy singing. Hoping to see you when and if you come up to the Ardler complex."
"Fun, active - I had a fabulous time. The kids really enjoyed it - they were dancing in their seats and doing their own actions!"
"Very entertaining and funny!"
"Great for all ages! The physical parts i.e. stand up/sit down were funny!"
"I really enjoyed this. I want to come again!"
"Smashing - very enjoyable!"
"Brilliant experience for all ages - led absolutely superbly!"
"Very entertaining - most enjoyable."
"I had a great time. There was a marvellous feeling in the hall. You could feel the camaraderie of everyone coming together, wanting to enjoy themselves - making it a night to remember!"