AUDIENCE TESTIMONIALS:

“Everyone in London who is caring for someone with dementia should know about Songhaven. The dementia-friendly concerts in Knightsbridge and Bloomsbury are extraordinarily well-judged and enormously enjoyable, joyful and uplifting”

“one of the most lovely events I think I have ever been to”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a concert so much”

“you’ve brought some real joy and fun into our lives”

“a beautiful and entertaining afternoon”

“I loved every minute of it.”

“Fabulous quality… vivacious… such beautiful voices”

“What I like so much is the chance to hear superb musicians. What a treat to hear excerpts from opera!”

“It was all very welcoming, everything explained in the introductions. Lots of favourites”

“Brilliant – so friendly and the beauty of the voices and the selection.” 

“I loved the operatic bits. I don’t get to go [to the opera] as much as I’d like to, so this was perfect for me.”

“Beautiful and very professional”

“Beautiful and very inclusive, especially when they got everyone singing.”

“Singing is wonderful- even when the short-term memories are gone, you can still remember words from 40 years ago!”

“People come alive here… it’s a privilege”

“It made me smile and cry, very emotional… a wonderful atmosphere.” 

“The way they performed was superb.”

from a carer… [her] “condition has improved, in the sense that not only she recalls…but also she actually asks me when the next concert is taking place.  We go over the songs, we sing together and she feels so happy that she has become part of Songhaven”

“impeccable standard of performance in an atmosphere of relaxed generosity, inclusivity and love.”

“My partner responds to music with his whole body and soul, so its wonderful to be in a space where his responses are welcomed and understood as appreciation and expressions of joy.”

[the event] “leaves us buzzing, feeling part of a community, and not isolated with the exhausting complexity of the impact of Alzheimer’s on us as individuals and as a family”

“thank you so much for organising such an amazing concert at St Paul’s on Saturday. The venue and the artists were fantastic. Afternoon tea was outstanding and how wonderful that it was all produced and served by the church congregation!”

“it’s an amazing acoustic. And the volunteers were all so welcoming.”

“I was so grateful for your singer coming over and singing the second verse of I Could Have Danced All Night to Mum – seeing how captivated and engaged she was in that moment, was lovely; and will stay with me.”

“such a wonderful concert”

” Two of my service users [a person with dementia and their carer] attended your concert on 12th January and were full of praise for the experience, so thank you!”

“I was so pleased to hear you sing and must say your voice is amazing”

“the ladies and gentlemen from the church arranged a wonderful tea”

“I have attended 3 Songhaven concerts at St Paul’s Knightsbridge and always look forward to the next one. There is a great range of music from classical to fun – something to suit everyone. The performers appear to enjoy it as much as the audience and I love the way that they chat with us after their performance. I have met a lady with quite severe dementia and it is so nice to see her tapping her hands in time to the music and enjoying herself, she loves the concerts. What can I say about afternoon tea?… nothing seems too much trouble for the volunteers. The food is amazing and it arrives with a smile. It is a real treat!”


ARTIST TESTIMONIALS:

“it was so much fun! And we were very well looked after”

“The thing that struck me the most about performing last time was just how attentive the audience was – I felt such a strong connection with the audience and that as performers we were really able to communicate. The reaction we received after the recital was also incredible, and I was genuinely touched at how appreciative everyone was. Talking to some of the audience afterwards, it was also really nice to know that they are clearly a community and regularly attend these recitals. I can’t wait for my next Songhaven performance, and to catch up with some of the regulars I met last time!”

“It is wonderful and humbling to know what a difference we can all make – tea-makers and servers and singers alike, and how lovely that people take the time to express their appreciation. I look forward to the next one.”

“The audience was lovely… it was one of those gigs that warms your heart”

“What struck me most was just how vital the music making felt. The warmth and willingness of the audience to hear what we had to sing and to say about the music made it an utter privilege and pleasure to be involved. There was a sense that everybody was there to receive our performance together, collectively creating a community atmosphere that had been built through regular visits to Songhaven’s concerts. What was also noticeable was the way that as an artist you can develop your own way to adapt your learned performance conventions to connect in such a deep way with the Songhaven audience, and I ended my first concert feeling that I had as much to learn from the audience as I had to offer them in return. “

“I loved performing with Songhaven: the atmosphere was so relaxed, and I felt like the audience were really included in the experience. It was lovely chatting to them afterwards and it was clear that they enjoyed the opportunity to hear familiar music live, to interact with the performers, to have a sense of community, and to feel that they were specifically catered for and cared for. “

“There’s something about Songhaven audiences which asks for a particular kind of attention from the performer. The signals are different from a traditional audience and performing at Songhaven is an opportunity to develop a subtler alertness to signals from individuals. The licence granted to the audience to relax and respond without inhibition also frees the performer to sense and explore. This is a very lovely thing and often leads me to look for repertoire that I wouldn’t normally have much call for but which is really appropriate here. There’s no question that it is hugely powerful for the audience to encounter LIVE performance in action, as opposed to via the mediation of a screen or recording. I imagine that this is all the more important for groups who are already experiencing limited contact with other people due to mobility/health issues or other forms of isolation in their day to day life.”

“It was so much fun and everything ran really smoothly”