Elderly woman still in lockdown delighted as choir surprises her with driveway performance

By Megan Archer | Birmingham | Music | Published:

An elderly woman who has been in lockdown for four months was delighted when her choir group surprised her with a special performance on her driveway.

Janet Dawson with daughter Susanne (right) and choir leader Louise Blackwell

Janet Dawson, age 86, is part of Voices Entwined – a choir that meets in different groups across Great Barr, Walsall and Streetly – but she hasn't been able to attend since lockdown began in March.

The groups have been enjoying Zoom performances with each other but Mrs Dawson, who lives in Great Barr and suffers from blindness, does not have a computer so has been unable to join in.

So, as a surprise, her daughter Susanne arranged for her choir to come to her.

Susanne said: "Singing is my mum's passion – she loves it. She's been singing with Louise at Voices Entwined for about six years. She lost her sight late in life and hasn't been able to leave the house really since March.

"All she has is her audio books and her singing. So I thought I'd ask Louise about coming here."

To keep in line with Government rules, Susanne had to pay Voices Entwined to come to her mother's home – so it could be classed as a professional performance. Choir leader Louise Blackwell said she had donated the fee straight to charity.


The group gathered on Mrs Dawson's driveway, to the pensioner's complete surprise, and started singing for her. She also joined in after a couple of songs.

Choir surprise blind woman after four months of lockdown

Mrs Dawson, who used to be a yoga instructor at Red House Park, said: "It was wonderful, such a lovely surprise. I didn't know until five minutes before.

"They're such a wonderful group of people – they didn't have to come but they did.


"We're only a small choir but a lovely group. When we meet it's gorgeous."

Choir leader Louise added: "Janet used to sing every Wednesday morning with us but she hasn't been able to since March – she hasn't left the house.

"I've been keeping everything online and doing Zoom choirs but she hasn't been able to join in so it was lovely to come to her and sing with her."

The choir fee was donated to Black Country charity The George Coller Memorial Fund, which raises awareness of children with asthma.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email

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