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West Norfolk woman's 14 hour keyboard challenge includes everything from Abba to AC/DC




From Handel to Abba to AC/DC, all genres were covered by a Necton 70-year-old who has been raising funds for a self-funded charity by staging a 14 hour continuous keyboard marathon.

Noelle Scott has already raised more than £750 for the Norfolk Blood Bikes after completing the solo marathon from her home on Saturday, which she live streamed on Facebook.

Having originally intended to complete the challenge in Norwich's Forum on April 18, Mrs Scott had to adapt her plans due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Noelle Scott, 70, has been raising funds for Norfolk Blood Bikes through a 14 hour keyboard challenge. Picture: SUBMITTED
Noelle Scott, 70, has been raising funds for Norfolk Blood Bikes through a 14 hour keyboard challenge. Picture: SUBMITTED

She was playing her keyboard from 8am to 10pm, and went without eating in that time.

"When I'm playing I do not feel tired or hungry, but it hits me when I've finished," Mrs Scott said. "I had my clock in front of me and it was lovely seeing the comments coming in on Facebook as I played.

"I could have gone on longer but five minutes after I had stopped, I realised I needed something to eat."

Raising funds for Norfolk Blood Bikes through a continuous keyboard challenge from Necton. Picture: SUBMTTED
Raising funds for Norfolk Blood Bikes through a continuous keyboard challenge from Necton. Picture: SUBMTTED

As an organist who used to perform at the Dabbling Duck site in Great Massingham on Sunday nights, Mrs Scott decided to take up music again when her husband died a year-and-a-half ago.

She said: "After my husband died, I thought 'what can I do with my life?' A friend suggested I should do music again and I thought 'I can't'. My husband used to help me transport all my equipment. But then I thought 'hang on a minute, music has moved along with high tech keyboards so it would not take up much space.

"I want to dispel the image that I am on old lady sitting on a stool because I like a challenge and am open to playing all types of songs.

"I was asked the other week if I played any AC/DC songs. All I do is Google it, go on YouTube and listen to a song three or four times then it goes in my head.

"I work out the proper sounds even though I had never played Highway to Hell before. He loved it."

Mrs Scott, who works as a secretary for a legal firm, was also asked to play Handel's Largo and Hans Zimmer, resulting in her opting for the soundtrack for the film Gladiator called 'We are Free'.

She has also been asked to play ABBA, country music, Les Misérables and Glenn Miller wartime music as part of her extensive repertoire.

It is the third time in the last 12 months that Mrs Scott has taken on a marathon but she had previously performed for 12 hours rather than 14. She is currently furloughed so thought it would be an opportune time to increase the length of the marathon performance.

Her last fundraiser was a 12 hour marathon on June 29 at the Narborough Sports and Social Club in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance. She also has plans to fundraise for the Salvation Army in July, which had also been initially scheduled for the Forum.

Speaking about why she chose Norfolk Blood Bikes this time, Mrs Scott said: "My boss is a Blood Biker and he is on duty for 48 hours and is normally called out at night. He can be called three times in the night and not get home until 6am then he is at his desk at 8.30am.

"He will get a call out and perhaps go to Addenbrooke's then bring back items to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital then he'll go back down to Addenbrooke's again. They love their motorbikes but there is no payment or government funding whatsoever. They rely on funds from people raising money or from fundraising events."

Among those watching the music marathon on Facebook at the weekend were individuals from as far Tasmania, Wales as well as an organ club in Fife, Scotland, who shared the challenge on their own social media page.

"Even though I am not playing in a venue, I enjoy going through the comments and it seems like it's been a two-way thing," Mrs Scott said.

"Being in lockdown we need some light relief and music has that way of getting through to people where words don't. When I used to perform in Great Massingham, two deaf people could used to stand in front of the organ and place their hands on it. Even though they could not hear the music, they could feel it through the vibrations. Music is so incredible."

On the unique and quirky nature of the challenge, she added: "I don’t know of any other musician in this country at any rate who has attempted to play solo for 14 hours. The Guinness Book of Records cites a chap in India who played for 138 hours. He took a 10 minute break every hour.

"I play with no breaks at all although due to limitations of live-streaming on Facebook, I have to briefly stop every four hours and then re-start as you can only live-stream for four hours at a time, then restart for another four hours, and so on. But once I start playing I just get lost in the music so will have to make sure that I restart the live-stream."

For more information on the music marathon, visit https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/NS0520 where you can also donate to Norfolk Blood Bikes.



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