Rachel Waite - BA (Hons) PG Cert
Founder and Director
From a very young age I got a thrill from anything to do with singing and movement, it didn’t matter what, I loved to move my body and use my voice… I just couldn’t stop! It quickly became a passion and a vocation, yet I’d always felt drawn to being around babies and children too. The fire for performance was burning most brightly when I was 18 and so I moved from Liverpool to London to seek my fortune!
With a degree in contemporary dance and a Post Grad in Professional Performance under my belt I had many exciting experiences as a performer including Fame the Musical, Caburlesque, Working as a body double/stand in for Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 & 2)
Working as a nanny and music teacher in between auditions gave me the insight into how music can support families and my joy in nurturing mothers and babies in particular. After gaining a CACHE Level 3 Diploma I worked as a Family Support Worker on the Neo Natal unit at Homerton Hospital in East London among other NHS roles.
I trained as a Singing Mamas Choir Leader in 2017 and have found a new vocation; bringing song into peoples’ hearts and homes! With this certification, and the rest of my skills, I moved back home to Liverpool in 2018 and set up Holistic Harmonies.
One of my passions is to work with people of all ages, bringing about human to human connections using music and dance. We’ve created a 6 week Intergenerational Music & Movement programme and our vision is to roll it out across care homes in Liverpool.
I have amalgamated all of my experience into this business and personally, I am trying to build a working life that includes all of my skills and passions and is fulfilling, creative, gives me autonomy and freedom, and is hopefully benefitting the lives of the families I work with.
Laura Hall - BA Hons, MA
I am a Northern girl with a passion for the performing arts. I moved to Liverpool in 2004 as an 18 year old with a dream to make arts accessible for all. I graduated with a first class degree from Liverpool Hope in 2007 and finished my Masters in 2010. I’ve always been involved with community based theatre companies and have worked in the community engagement team at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres for 10 years now. Some of my greatest memories include:
Supporting 200 people from marginalised communities to parade the streets of the city in reopening the Everyman in 2014
Developing performances with adults accessing mental health services to perform in and around the Playhouse celebrating World Mental Health Day
Creating a showcase alongside Young Dada Fest celebrating young D/deaf and disabled young people from across the city region on the Everyman stage
Programming and delivering creative residencies with young people through youth offending teams annually
Every Christmas I become Fairy Sparkles and visit community organisations for festive fun. It is my favourite time of the year. I am also a freelance project manager and facilitator and work with various organisations.
I have a 3 year old little boy and we became involved with Holistic Harmonies when he was 4 months old joining the South Liverpool Singing Mamas Choir choir. Even though I had sung standing on tables in pubs and clubs from a young age, the unofficial opening act for my dad’s classic rock band, and I carried on to join all the am-dram societies in my small town, since moving to Liverpool singing was something I didn’t have the confidence to do in public. Being a part of Rachel’s sessions and sharing songs with my son changed everything for me. I was honoured to become a member of the board in 2020, I am so excited for the prospects of this young company.
Clare McCarroll - BEM, MResCP, Bsc (Hons)
I left the Emerald Isle in 2005 to pursue my studies in Physiotherapy in London and have never left England nor lost my strong Donegal accent!! I completed my undergraduate studies and foundation clinical training across a range of hospitals and community settings in London until 2016, we moved to Liverpool as we wanted more space, and to be closer to our families. After rotating around in various clinical settings, I quickly realised I loved working with older people, particularly people living with dementia, in their communities.
People often think of physiotherapists as the person who runs onto a pitch when a footballer has fallen over – we do, but we do so much more. I have experience working with children, adolescence, adults and older adults with a wide range of conditions that affect their health and well-being. In my experience, it can be difficult for these individuals to participate in and remain motivated in exercises or activities that are beneficial to their health.
These challenges have made me seek out less conventional opportunities to deliver physiotherapy in the community. In 2018, I was lucky enough to become the lead physiotherapist for the Music Makes Us Move project, which is a “physiotherapy through dance” initiative for people living with dementia (managed by The Brain Charity, Funded by Quilter Cheviot). Working with community dance practitioners and using the creative arts within healthcare was eye-opening, heart-warming and incredibly successful in enhancing the health, physical and emotional well-being of people living with dementia.
I joined the Singing Mamas community in 2018 with my 5 month old daughter. It was an opportunity to meet like-minded women, share the journey of parenthood and use our voices to connect and uplift each other. The tea and cake afterwards was also a real draw!! I found singing so therapeutic and was entranced by Rachel’s ability to hold a safe, inviting and open space for people. I knew working with Rachel would only be joyous. We know that music transcends so many societal barriers, it improves quality of life, brings people to the here and now, allows connection through shared experiences and offers people a way of expressing themselves creatively beyond words. With this in mind, I was delighted to collaborate with Rachel in designing and delivering an Intergenerational Music and Movement project in a Liverpool nursing home with preschoolers, parents and nursing home residents. This was beneficial for all generations and we hope to get further funding to expand this programme across the region.
I am a Team Leader for the Integrated Care and Reablement (ICRAS) Therapy team in Liverpool. I am part of NHS England’s Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme aiming to develop pathways that combine the creative arts and health for the well-being of older adults. I am a Mammy to a toddler, wife to a Sheffield Wednesday supporter and so excited to be a part of the executive board of Holistic Harmonies.
Elizabeth Nokes - BA (Hons)
Director and Company Secretary
For the past 15 years I have worked within the arts & cultural sector providing arts administration & project management for international touring festivals, music venues and performing arts centres. Working behind the scenes, there is nothing more fulfilling than being part of a committed community of people engaging, educating & entertaining audiences.
In 2008 I gained a first class degree in Contemporary Film & Video from Manchester Metropolitan University. With a keen interest in human stories I specialised in producing social documentaries, showcasing work at short-film festivals. On graduating I had my first artist commission as part of an exhibition at The Lowry Centre, Salford. I started my full-time career in London, learning the ropes with onedotzero, a contemporary digital arts organisation producing international festivals, exhibitions and events at BFI Southbank, V&A, Google and EMPAC New York.
I currently work at the Bristol Beacon; Bristol's largest music venue as the Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive and a leading member of the sustainability working group, working towards our goal to become the UK's first Carbon Neutral concert hall by 2030. Prior to this I lived overseas for 6 years supporting senior executives at the Sydney Opera House and the New Zealand Government, collecting a lifetime of memories and experiences along the way.
Since lockdown I have had the opportunity to join Singing Mamas Choir as a weekly participant online, experiencing first-hand the power of community & connection. Now I find myself singing all sorts of short, simple, affirmation songs in the shower and on my walks. There is a song for every mood!
As Rachel's sister I have been a supporter of Holistic Harmonies since the beginning and am proud and inspired by her talent, dedication and drive to create a purpose led organisation for the benefit of the community.
As a member of the Board I hope to give back and share my experience from the arts sector, supporting operational & administrative processes and strategic priorities to help guide the continued growth of Holistic Harmonies for the wellbeing of all.