MEET OUR CHOIR
Please click on the images below to learn more about our choir members. This page is currently being added to.
Jan was a founding member of Our Dementia Choir. Sadly her current condition means that she can no longer be part of the choir but her husband, Chris, has continued to go to most of the rehearsals and concerts as so many of the partners, spouses and carers have formed lasting friendships.
The choir meant so much to Jan as music was a big part of her life all stemming from Sunday School and Church choirs and even in the care home she comes more to life when there are music and movement sessions.
Angela is the leader of Our Dementia choir. She grew up in Nottingham and is a single mum to three kids. When she isn't working with Our Dementia Choir she is teaching piano and working with Singing for the Brain.
Working on the programme 'Our Dementia Choir' was one of the most interesting, emotional, enlightening, and wonderful things she's ever done.
“I don't know why/how I got involved in the choir in the 1st place, but I'm glad I did. I love singing, it always makes me feel better if I feel 'down in the dumps.'"
Betty and her granddaughter, Kelly, feel very fortunate to have been part of the programme and continue to love being part of the choir. They have made some life long friends and see the choir as an extended family. The fact that Vicky still comes to the choir rehearsals is very special to them.
Chris says he loves every minute of the choir and it's the highlight of the week for him! He loves all the people involved. It has been so exciting!
Ahmed was diagnosed with mixed dementia nearly 4 years ago. Being a member of the Our Dementia Choir has been an uplifting experience and he has made many new friends as a result of participating.
He would like to thank Vicky, Angela, all volunteers, and most of all the choir for all their help and support.
Maureen is originally from Tyneside and even though she moved to new employment in Nottingham with her young family in 1980 she still has her north east accent! In Tyneside and around Teesside Maureen was a passionate environmental campaigner who frequently appeared on TV, the radio and in the local press.
After moving to Nottingham she followed another great passion of hers and became a Creative Writing Tutor and a published author until her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and Vascular Dementia prompted her retirement in 2014.
Coming from a highly creative and extremely musical family, Maureen jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Our Dementia Choir and is loving every minute of the journey alongside her friends.
Bernard has played the piano since he was 8 yrs old and was the church organist for 40 years. He has had to give this up because of arthritis and dementia but thankfully the love of music has never left him. He remembers only his earlier life in Wakefield where he studied at Wakefield grammar school and was the youngest student ever to gain a scholarship to Cambridge reading Physical Chemistry.
The choir has been a Godsend to Bernard and his wife, Pat, and is like a second family to them. They so appreciate that it still continues and are sent a taxi to travel to rehearsals as both of them have mobility issues.
Julie was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia in 2017 after 3 years of tests.
Being in the choir has meant so much to her. She says being with other people struggling with the same things makes her feel like she's not alone. She enjoys singing with her choir family.
'It's great fun, we forget we have dementia and we just become a choir.'
M I C K
Mick is 53 years old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy in 2018 following a series of grand mal seizures that came really from nowhere. Since that day, his life and the lives of his family have been turned upside down having been given a terminal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and managing the progressive change. Whilst living his life as fully as possible, day to day is hard. However, one of his main lifelines is being a member of the Choir. The music, camaraderie and friends made have been irreplaceable.
“In a world of dementia where there is very little to support those as young as myself, I can honestly say that it has kept us going! Thank you to everyone involved that keeps this valuable group going!”
Singing is easier than talking for June so singing in the choir supports her communication and interaction with others.
The choir has given June the opportunity to be a part of a community of people that understand her needs and can support her, and who have ultimately become friends.
Her family are so grateful for the lovely people they have met and the experiences that the choir has given them.
R A E
Rae has a neurodegenerative condition with progressive dementia which was diagnosed when she was 49.
Before that, Rae was a music teacher and was overwhelmed when, during filming for the TV programme, she discovered she could still play the piano. Rae struggles day to day accepting there is something wrong in her life but she battles on. She doesn’t have a lot of family but her best friend is also her carer and Rae feels so blessed to have her in her life
John’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis came in January 2015 & in 2018 (when this photo was taken whilst visiting his son Guy, in Vancouver)
John joined Our Dementia Choir and has loved every minute of it and continues to do it to this day.
“Choir is a room full of love, laughter and kindness where we can all be ourselves. It is a special safe place full of special friends. Thank you to EVERYONE in the choir who has touched my life & the lives of my family, brought us so much happiness & eased our journey.”
Maurice was known as Nottingham’s ‘Singing Landlord. Alzheimer’s disease took away Maurice’s confidence and made him very frightened. Although he is in full-time care now, he still attends every choir practice. Choir has enabled him to see things more positively and, although afterwards he doesn’t remember being there, when he is ‘in the moment’ and singing with his new friends, his smile and his sparkle return for a while.
Maurice now has a piano in the home where he lives so he can keep on playing and reading music