Corby care home residents serenaded by socially distancing pipe band

The Grampian Pipe Band treated the residents to a special concert

By Alison Bagley
Monday, 6th April 2020, 9:12 pm

Residents of a Corby care home have been treated to a special, social distanced coronavirus concert by a traditional pipe band.

Grampian Pipe Band's Pipe Major, Rob Muir, had been asked to perform outside the Shaw Healthcare-owned Sandalwood Court with his bagpipes to entertain the self-isolating clients.

A pared-down pipe band of eight members, standing much further apart than usual, gathered in the Oakley Vale park in Butland Road, over the road from the home on Friday (April 3).

Corby Grampian Pipe Band members stood so the care home staff and residents could see as well as hear them

Shelley Sloane, Sandalwood Court administrator, said: "It was brilliant. They walked across the field towards the home and we all had goosebumps. They all loved it and there were a few tears - it was emotional - and it went down lovely.

"A lot of the residents have a Scottish background, it was brilliant."

Rob and his son Dylan perform at the 60-bed unit care home every New Year's Eve so when Shelley saw a video of Rob performing during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' she contacted him.

She said: "My friend lives on the same street as Rob so I messaged him and said sorry if it sounds cheeky but would you mind playing the pipes for the residents and he said of course I will.

Corby Grampian Pipe Band in action at the annual Corby Highland Gathering

"We agreed a time and then he messaged me to give me an update that there would be a mini band coming along.

"It really joined everyone together. Neighbours came out to watch, a few people stopped their cars. It made everyone feel that they were part of the community."

When Rob, who leads the Grampian Pipe Band, received the request from Shelley he contacted some other band members who lived nearby to help make it a special concert.

He said: "We all live in Corby and we travelled in separate cars. Some of us live in he same houses.

Pipe band members stood apart from one another

"We just did a short set including Scotland the Brave, Cock o'the North and the Green Hills. It was fantastic to see their faces in the care home. We've never done a concert like that before and it was a pleasure to go along."

Members of the band who took part were Rob and his 16-year-old son Dylan a snare drummer, daughter Shannon on tenor drum, pipers brother and sister Paul Dixon and Louise Traynor, tenor drummer Eden Dixon, Cameron Heron also on snare drum and bass drummer Nick Wilson.

Shelley added: "We're trying to keep the residents busy with Easter crafts but it's hard for them not seeing their families and having visitors but it's a very friendly home and everyone always stops and says hello. They are still able to Skype their families. Modern technology is very useful.

"We are fundraising for a 'magic table' to keep the residents active. It's something people living with deep set dementia can use and enjoy."