Manchester based Soprano Margaret Ferguson is approaching her 1,500th live music session and has been working with us for 22 years. She is a firm favourite particularly amongst older audiences for her interactive renditions of classic songs from across the decades.
How did you first get involved with Music in Hospitals & Care?
I joined in 1998 after an audition in Cardiff. My husband saw an article in the local Manchester free paper about a concert by MiHC in the area and I decided to see if I would ‘fit the bill’ for concerts. Thankfully I was accepted.
It’s wonderful to belong to a charity which reaches out to the seldom reached. Many won’t have the ability to go to concerts and it’s wonderful we can interrupt peoples’ hurts and pain with music. Also, to spend time talking to them and listening to their many different stories.
How have things changed during your time with Music in Hospitals & Care?
Well, not only has the name changed, but the diversity of concerts has too, with more musicians of many different styles. Back when I started there was just one person in North England organising concerts. However, that has now changed to having more of a staffed office.
In terms of audience, the age group has changed with many now being younger with dementia, etc. This, of course, has meant a change in repertoire with these having grown up in a different culture.
What have been some of your highlights?
My highlights have to include the tours I have done in Jersey and Wales.
The first special moment I experienced was a stroke patient who hadn’t spoken for seven years. I sang ‘Let me call you sweetheart’; it turned out to be the song his mother sang to him when he was young and he sang along with me. His wife, family members and the staff were in tears.
I also very much enjoy the Musician Days, which provide an opportunity to meet with other musicians and share skills.
Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.