Whether this is staff, student or family wellbeing, it is something all members of the community are promoting and protecting.
The staff and students of St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton, have been offering community-building activities throughout the college to promote wellbeing.
“One Song Sing at SFX” is an initiative adapted from similar programs from the wider community. The premise of the program is for anyone to turn up to an allocated location at a certain time, and in a community-bonding exercise, sing a popular song as a communal choir. The participants receive a copy of the lyrics and, pending numbers, are allocated a harmony to sing. Once the song is complete, in true flash-mob style, everyone returns to their normal routines.
The idea is that you don’t need to be a great singer or mover but must enjoy a good sing-along. The outcome is to lift the spirits of a group of people all working together. And in this case, belting out a song.
The first One Song Sing was scheduled for Friday 3 April in the college main yard during the lunchtime break. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions on non-essential gatherings and added restrictions put on schools, the event was on the brink of being postponed. However, through the powers of Zoom technology, the first One Song Sing was still a raging success.
Staff and students received an email with an access code to a Zoom meeting with clear instructions of a time, to dress up in groovy outfits and be prepared to sing their hearts out. With 50 participants for the first meeting, the lyrics to 500 Miles by The Proclaimers was belted out from people’s offices and homes on Friday afternoon. The joy on the participants’ faces when they saw everyone else singing along was truly uplifting.
On Thursday 9 April, SFX staged a staff-only One Sing Song. At 3.10pm an invitation was sent to about 130 college staff informing them the song for the day “at that stage” would be Toto’s Africa, “unless I have an epiphany beforehand”. The staff don’t find out the song until I present.
The St Francis Xavier's community will continue with the program in this format next term and for the duration of the isolation period until we can all meet again and chant a popular song in person.