A barbershop choir from Sheffield gave one of their own a 97th birthday to remember as they sang for her in the grounds of her care home.
A small group from the award-winning barbershop chorus, Sheffield Harmony, staged a mini birthday concert for Win Topham of Loxley outside the window of a room in Northfield Nursing Home in Sheffield.
Win who is an honorary member of Sheffield Harmony and also received flowers and a huge chocolate cake from the singers, said:
I enjoyed it very much and would like to send love and thanks to everybody in Sheffield Harmony.
Six members of Sheffield Harmony were given permission to sing at the nursing home which is part of the Palms Row Health Care group. Under current guidelines Northfield is closed to visitors but operates “window visits” to enable residents to remain in touch with relatives.
The cheery sing song went down a storm not only with the birthday girl but with grateful nursing home staff. The video can be viewed on Facebook:
Nicola Richards, Chair of Sheffield Care Association and owner of the Palms Row Health Care group said:
We can’t thank Sheffield Harmony enough for what they did. It was brilliant at a time like this and really special.
We have had a tough time but we have had amazing support from the community and things like this are really touching. When you are in the midst of this pandemic, you can imagine what care homes have gone through but there have been some special moments and this was one of them. It really lifted spirits.
The six singers, representing the 40-strong chorus, included President Carole Hall, Assistant Musical Director Danuta Clarkson, Treasurer Cheryl McCormack, lead singer Marie Hessell, baritone Janice Jardine and former chorus bass Sue Hutchinson.
They sang a four-part harmony version of “Happy Birthday”, the upbeat sixties hit “One Fine Day”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the musical Lion King and Beatles hit “Can’t Buy Me Love” and they wore the turquoise scarves that Win had bought as a gift for the entire chorus about five years ago.
Nonagenarian Win has been a member of Sheffield Harmony for about 30 years and sang lead, which in barbershop terms is the melody line. During that time, she has served on the management board; as president, events co-ordinator and also as a member of the dress committee.
In 2016 she was honoured with a “Women of Note” award, by Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organisation of women singers of which Sheffield Harmony is a member. This award acknowledges achievements and service of members to their respective choruses.
Sheffield Harmony president Carole Hall said:
With lockdown relaxing slightly it was perfect timing for 6 of us from Sheffield Harmony to be able to sing for Win on her 97th birthday – while socially distancing of course! Win has been a huge part of our chorus for many years and it is only relatively recently that her mobility stopped her coming to rehearsals. Our weekly virtual rehearsals have been great but being able to sing together in person and to see Win smiling at the window is something I will never forget.
Win has been receiving care at Northfield, following illness and a stay at the Hallamshire Hospital.
Image: Palms Row Health Care