I arrived at the WFD parking lot before the advertised starting time for Musical Memories to find several cars already parked there. On leaving the car park I noticed Megan was about to enter WFD with a walker loaded with shopping bags. I heard Neil being given some last-minute instructions to be near his phone at 3.30pm.
On entering the foyer area of WFD I heard discussion coming from the meeting room. Chairs being set out; the PA system being tested by Brian and Tony. People were arriving, Les with his daughter, Lindsay with his camera, Diana with her music and Bill with a smile asking for a cup of coffee.
Tables were being set up. From nowhere white tablecloths appeared, to be draped across two tables. Plates of cream biscuits and slices emerged from the kitchen with cups and the urn for hot water. The piano could be heard warming up, song books were distributed, as people continued to arrive.
And then, like a well-oiled orchestra all was ready. Megan came to the microphone and welcomed everyone, introducing Diana on the piano, Tony as MC and Janet as the guest soloist with Margaret her friend of many years sharing in the singing of a song.
And with great expectations Tony introduced the first song, providing background material about the song, who had written and recorded it. On several occasions, he reminded us of a song we were going to sing, made famous, or sung by the late Doris Day who had recently passed away.
And so began, for many, a walk down memory lane as Tony introduced another song with well-chosen comments to frame his introduction. The music was near perfect as this group of over 40 people raised their voices to sing songs they had listened to and sung all their life.
Janet at times sang a verse within a song, and at other times her friend joined her in a duet. Walking out of the room, one could hear a piano leading forty plus voices, strong clear and full of unstated memories, lost for a moment in music and words.
All too soon, Tony suggested it was time for a break and a cuppa. From nowhere tea and (real) coffee appeared. Cream biscuits and slices could be seen melting quietly away in the hands of many. The pause in singing, the cuppa with a biscuit in hand generated much conversation in small pockets around the room and flowing out into the foyer. Good friends of long standing who had not seen each other recently, and new friends getting to know each other.
It seemed in no time we were being ushered back into the meeting room for more songs. Attempts by some to find a song book proved fruitless as we had run out of copies and people were sharing with their friend. This did not dampen the enthusiasm of those there. The piano and the many voices together created a very special moment in the life of those there.
Special thanks to Megan and her organising team Diana on the piano, Tony as the MC and Janet as the soloist. And if you are young at heart and love old time music and singing around the piano, contact Megan Coote at “The Hub” and join us for the next version of Musical Memories on Friday 20th September.