Linburn Centre’s choir in good voice for Christmas carol rehearsals

Posted: 11/12/2018 | Scottish War Blinded

Carol rehearsals are bringing a choir of veterans with vision impairments together at Scottish War Blinded’s Linburn Centre this festive period.

Since starting up in 2016, the Linburn Choir, who meet every Friday at Scottish War Blinded’s Linburn Centre in West Lothian, have bloomed in confidence and struck up ‘family-like’ bonds.

Music and song have proven powerful tools in uniting these veterans.

Members of the Linburn Choir stand together, with some holding musical instruments

Linburn Centre Officer Gill Raw, who spearheaded setting up the choir, said: “They love it as it gives them a sense of purpose – belonging to a group that relies on one another’s voices to collectively make a sound they are happy with. We now have around 15 regular choir members.

“Some of them also find it quite therapeutic.

“They feel they belong to something – something they have created as a group. There’s a really good feeling when they’re all together.”

The choir have been overcoming the challenges posed by sight loss by utilising enlarged fonts for song sheets and lots of repetition in rehearsals.

And familiar songs help to get the music flowing quickly for the group, too – making catchy Christmas songs the perfect choice.

Choir member and Royal Air Force veteran, Jacques Crighton, said: “I’d never really done any singing before and don’t sing at home. I just wanted to give it a try. I enjoy it.

“My favourite song we sing is the Chattanooga Choo Choo. I do find the choir therapeutic, the singing is very relaxing.”

The choir is set to sing for fellow members on the final day at Linburn before the Christmas holidays begin – and a first public performance outside the centre is on the cards for the new year!

Scottish War Blinded gives free support to former servicemen and women of all ages, no matter if they lost their sight during or after service.

The Linburn Centre offers activities with transport provided free of charge. Call 0800 035 6409 to refer a veteran to the charity.