Community choir for the retired to have daytime singing sessions

Rachel Brown launching community choir in Bedford.
Rachel Brown launching community choir in Bedford.

A new daytime choir aimed at retired people is set to launch in Bedford and an invitation is being made to join.

Organiser Rachel Brown is sending out a recruiting call to potential members who might want to feel the benefits of lifting up their voices.

Rachel, who has sung in community choirs for five years, has been planning the vocal venture since last year and her first first singing group has just launched successfully in Letchworth.

Rachel said: “Working towards starting local community daytime choirs has been an exciting project and something which I believe is of genuine benefit to the local community. It’s been encouraging to see that there is a strong appetite for this.

“Feedback from our first group has been very positive. Participants have told us they found it great fun - a fantastic singing session. Our leader really brought out the best in the singers and it was a really energetic midday blast of song.”

The first group has attracted mainly retired people in their sixties, and people in their fifties, but singers of all ages will soon be welcome if the demand is there.

Rachel added: “When I started planning the choirs I wanted to create something positive for other locals to enjoy, and something I could enjoy being part of myself. I found a lot of research that said singing was really great for the brain - for boosting all the happy hormones and making you feel good. I feel that’s exactly what we’ve done at Letchworth - so now I’m keen to spread the word and build in other areas.”

An initial buzz of interest locally from people talking about the daytime choirs online on social networks has boosted Rachel’s confidence in the choirs – and she is waiting to celebrate their success in many new places.

Rachel, who has experienced the benefits of being part of a community choir for several years, hopes that an ethos of good emotional health, as well as the daytime positioning could help her singing groups to stand out from the crowd.

She said: “I want this vital aspect of human connection and positive chemicals to be a feature of our groups. I anticipate bringing people together and boosting wellbeing through the enjoyable medium of community song. I’d like to offer people something a bit different to the average pop choir.

“Group singing has lots of benefits. Studies have shown that the feel good chemical oxytocin is produced when people sing together, and that it’s great for community bonding. Other chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which create feelings of calm and pleasure are also released through song.

“We would like people interested in this new daytime choir to get in touch to register their interest initially.”

Rachel has created Our Local Event: initially a community organisation dedicated to bringing together people through the medium of song in a series of all inclusive community choirs for enjoyment and fun.

She said: “Although we hope to generate a small amount of income from each group as it grows, I am hoping to help create something for the community that is of genuine benefit.

“I decided to start a series of local singing groups because I have always enjoyed singing in community choirs and thought there would be an appetite for something new, especially in the daytime. I was encouraged by an initial response of almost 30 people in Letchworth which is why we launched our first group there.

“I am learning a lot from working on this project and have a great respect for the experienced leaders we are meeting who are so good at what they do. We are building networks with local leaders and would be pleased to hear from anyone with the right kind of experience who would like to work with us.”

Contact Rachel on 01462 456238 or 07751 424 417, email Rachel@ourlocalevent.com and visit www.ourlocalevent.com