Our musician spotlight for May is singer/pianist Alastair Collingwood, who has been working with us in South England since 2018. Alastair’s wide repertoire of classic songs played in a jazz style make him popular both in hospital wards and care home lounges.
How did you first get involved with Music in Hospitals & Care?
I was playing at a care home and saw a poster for a Music in Hospitals & Care concert and thought ‘They look great!’, so I got in touch and was asked to come and do an audition.
What are some of your highlights?
I find working for Music in Hospitals & Care constantly inspiring and an absolute privilege – I’ve spent most of my career playing in theatrical or social surroundings and I find playing in this environment far more rewarding. It’s hard to find a specific highlight – many times folks have shared their memories with me – often triggered by a song we’ve been playing. When residents sing along is always a joy. One I will always remember is playing Singing in the Rain in a care home. Lots of people were singing along, then without warning a lady took out an umbrella and started to dance! It was lovely. She told me afterwards that she’d been a professional dancer. Just brilliant.
What does music mean to you and how has it helped you during the pandemic?
Music is life to me. I love the way that we can’t see it or touch it, but we can feel it! It communicates with people and can change the mood. As with any challenging time, music has been a way for me to connect with people through the pandemic – mainly through recorded videos, which isn’t quite the same as live!
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