Jewish Care Sing Off14 Feb 2017
More than 160 residents, members, volunteers and staff from across eight Jewish Care homes and community centres across London took part in the organisation’s third ‘Sing Off’ last week. The event, which had a nature theme to mark the Jewish new year for trees, Tu B’ishvat, was held at the Redbridge Jewish Community Centre saw choirs from across resources competing against each other.
Participants were in fine voices, and after a lively lunch each of the choirs performed their chosen songs for the judging panel which included Jewish Care’s chief executive Simon Morris, vice chair Debbie Fox and director, Neil Taylor.
The Sinclair Singers a group of dedicated volunteers at the host venue - RJCC were the overall winners with their adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof song to If I Were a Rich Girl, they also won recognition for best original composition. The choir included Nettie Keene who was celebrating 45 years of service as a Jewish Care volunteer. The group were very pleased to be asked to sing again as part of the finale, when everyone also sang California Dreaming together.
They said, "We’re delighted and excited to win. It’s a great song, it was fantastic participating – we’d do it all again and we can’t wait until next year. We enjoy singing and we’re always up dancing with the entertainers all year round at the Centre."
Sadie Simmonds, 88, a resident at Ruben’s House in Finchley and part of the home’s Rubenettes Choir, last year’s winners, said, "I grew up near here so it’s good to come back to my roots, my mum used to come the community centre a few times a week. I love singing, it warms the heart and keeps you young. I try to sing every day and it’s in my blood because my grandparents were on the stage doing Vaudeville all those years ago."
Vi & John Rubens choir, The Sun Shiners celebrated their award for best entertainment with their rendition of Bring Me Sunshine. One of the singers, Shirley Allen, 80 who is a resident of the home, said, "It was a very good day. I enjoy singing, I’ve been in a choir all my life. I’m in the choir at the home and we get together all year round."
Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris, said, "This is the third sing off and the standard just gets better and better each year. Here at Jewish Care improving well being is central to all we do. The benefits of singing are well documented and really come to life in an event like this. Not only does being part of a choir enhance people’s well being but an event like this is an opportunity for individuals and groups to come together to express creativity and team work, however old or young we are, the enjoyment is clearly evident."
Other songs from groups included, We’d like to teach the world to sing from the Corobettes of Sidney Corob House in West Hampstead, Redbridge Supportive Communities I’ll be with you in apple blossom time and A Few of my Favourite Things by the Kenton Crooners.