Spoke with Joyce Borschmann at the end of last week and she is progressing well. After spending five weeks at Benalla Health, Joyce is now in the Rehabilitation Centre of North East Health at Wangaratta undergoing more intense physio. Joyce seemed very positive about her progress and is looking forward to coming back to her unit at Cooinda. However, that will probably still be a few weeks away.
Early in July we learnt that the original Convenor of Singing for Fun, Joyce Borschmann had unfortunately had a fall at home and had fractured her pelvis.
At the moment Joyce is at Benalla Health being well looked after and receiving physiotherapy treatment. When a bed is available in the rehabilitation area at North East Health at Wangaratta Joyce will be moved there for more intense physio.
Due to COVID restrictions patients at Benalla Health can only receive one visitor for one hour per day. By phone Joyce told me that she looks forward to seeing her daughter each day. She can, however, receive phone calls preferably through her mobile or through the hospital switchboard.
On July 28th Joyce celebrated her 90th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Joyce! We all hope that you had an enjoyable day.
Whilst we are still not able to participate in Singing for Fun, various members of the group have been walking around Benalla doing their shopping or exercising. It has been fun to say hello to Rae and Len who were out riding their bikes, Deidre who was shopping, Keiran walking through the park and Patsy and Hamish who were looking for a book.
Then there have also been the phone calls with lots of people saying hello to each other.
Keiran reminded me (with social distancing) that choirs have been recognised for projecting their voices and possibly spreading droplets as a result. We are so lucky in Benalla that apart from three cases of COVID from returned travellers, we have not had a single case in the last eight weeks.
Let’s hope that this fact will be used in the assessment of when we can return to the Senior’s Facility in Fawckner Drive.
In the meantime stay safe and look after yourselves.
We are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel with the return of children to schools and five people allowed to meet inside. We need to get to the stage of 50 people being able to meet inside before the Benalla Rural City Council are likely to re-open the Seniors Building and Singing for Fun can resume.
What are we going to look like post COVID-19 restrictions? Undoubtedly Singing for Fun will need to remain in the main auditorium as over 25 people are not going to be able to social distance in the current U3A room.
With social distancing still in place morning tea will be difficult to manage. Perhaps it will mean that when we come back, we bring our own small bottle of water so that we can have a break and mingle with social distancing. More on this when available.
In the meantime, I am sure that we are all be looking forward to the time when we are back in the building and enjoying Singing for Fun, Harmony and Community Singing again.
For now, look after yourselves and stay safe.
Not much to report for the month of April apart from an experience from a Melbourne friend of mine. She is part of the Open Door Gospel Singers and they are continuing their singing on a Monday evening at 7.30pm in a closed Facebook Group.
You need to apply to join this Group. However, approval seems to happen very quickly. The Leader is Shaun who I am told is a professional conductor. The words appear on the upper portion of the screen whilst the conductor is in the lower section. Shaun seems to handle the accompaniment and the words and keeps the session moving quite well. He also has a very positive attitude.
So if you would enjoy a singing outlet I suggest you have a look at this. The songs are different to what we are used to. But the session is still enjoyable.
Hope you are all well and keeping yourselves happy and occupied.
We have seen some changes to Singing during the month of March.
During the first week our pianist Gwen Barnes was not able to play for us due to ill health. We saw Faith Hicks playing the piano for Kieran Smith who did a great job introducing us to a medley of Australiana songs. Faith also played for Margaret Merriman, whilst Brian Greed organised and played for his section of the program.
Harmony saw Gwen Barnes back playing the piano which was great.
The second Singing for Fun session for the month saw Faith away and Gwen playing for Kieran. As it was two days after St. Patrick’s Day and Kieran coming from Ireland, we all enjoyed his session of Irish songs, most of which we knew quite well. Brian Greed and Margaret Merriman chose some old favourite songs for their sections of the program which were also enjoyed.
We are sorry to learn that one of our long-time members, Gwen Cheetham has been unwell and has been in Wangaratta hospital. We all signed a card for Gwen and hope to see her back with us soon.
During the latter part of March we observed increased spacing of our choir due to the appearance of COVID-19 in Victoria.
On Saturday 21 March 2020 U3A Benalla suspended all groups until the end of the first Semester. Hence there will be no Singing for Fun, Harmony or Community Singing until we receive notification that groups such as ours may recommence.
Our Singing for Fun and Harmony members have been telling us that they would prefer to start at 9.45am instead of 9.30am. This will happen when we recommence in Semester 2.
February 2020 saw us meeting in the main auditorium of the Senior’s Centre as a trial to see if we were more comfortable in the larger space. We have had a few small problems. However, at the end of the third week we held a vote and there was a two thirds majority of Singing for Fun members in favour of continuing to meet in the main auditorium at 9.30am for both Singing for Fun and Harmony. There have been a variety of comments including that the sound is much better, that we feel less constrained and more relaxed in the larger space.
We have been fortunate to have our three conductors offering to lead the group again this year. A big thank you to Faith Hicks, Brian Greed and Margaret Merriman for their preparation before the group meets each week in choosing songs, and then giving a list of what they want the group to sing to our pianist Gwen Barnes. Our thanks also to Gwen for her continued valued assistance on the piano.
We would also like to thank Gwen who over the holidays increased the size of the cover to fit the piano which was purchased eighteen months ago.
Due to illness Faith Hicks was unable to attend our last two sessions for February. In the last Singing for Fun session we welcomed Kieran Smith as a conductor to the group. Kieran was the soloist at our performances last year and brings a great deal of singing experience to our choir. We hope that he will be able to assist again in the future if needed.
On the fourth Thursday of each month this year we are having a Community Singing session starting at 10am organised by Brian Greed. Brian ran three very successful Community Singing sessions during January, and we thank him for offering to continue these relaxed sessions once a month during 2020.
Looking forward to seeing you all at 9.30am in the Main Auditorium for the first three Thursdays of the month.
A reminder that when we resume we will be meeting in the Main Auditorium instead of the U3A Room for our three sessions in February. This is a trial arrangement to see if we are more comfortable in less cramped conditions than in our U3A room. Our sessions on Thursday 6th, 13th and 20th February will commence at 9.30am and run until 11.30am. This time change is to work with the senior’s group who have their Thursday lunch starting at 11.45am.
Convenor: Margaret Jenkins
About 'Singing for Fun'
The only criteria for joining this group is that you like singing. You do not need to be able to read music. We sing for fun and we find it a great sharing experience. A harmony group meets separately. Our new community singing group is also 'just for fun!'
Singing for Fun - 1st and 3rd Thursday
Harmony Group: 2nd Thursday.
Community Singing: 4th Thursday
Times/Venue - from Semester II, 2020:
9.45 am to 11.45 am
Main Auditorium, Fawckner Drive
Convenor and Contact details
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