Allan Barfield, after a concert, front centre 2015
The ParkinSongsters started out as a therapy group, set up in November 2010 by Allan Barfield and Parkinson’s UK – Bexhill, Hastings and Rother branch. The aim was to provide fun and healthful vocal and breathing exercises for people with Parkinson’s to help with the voice and swallowing problems that affect so many with the condition.
Very soon we discovered that the most effective way to consolidate the exercises was through singing, and thus The ParkinSongsters was born. As well as the health-giving benefits of using the voice and breath in a more functional way, the sheer enjoyment of singing together as a group and sharing songs with others brings a sense of well-being and of personal achievement. We have performed at both private and public events and boast a number of repeat bookings.
Who leads the group?
The group is led by Jane Metcalfe, with Duncan Reid at the piano.
Jane was a professional singer and has taught singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on both the Acting Course and to students of Music Therapy. She teaches locally and finds it truly rewarding helping people in their more mature years make the very best of their voice. She has worked with The ParkinSongsters since their inception in 2010, and continues to enjoy every moment.
Duncan is an accomplished pianist who conducts and plays for a number of singing groups locally. He has been with The ParkinSongsters since they began giving concerts in 2012 He is great at arranging and adapting songs to suit the group, and brings a touch of quiet confidence to the sessions.