Have you noticed how popular choirs are becoming in this world of digital communication? Apparently Pub Choir is the next big thing for Gen Y/ Millennials and I think this demonstrates how urgently we still need to connect on a human level. It is informal, fun, and no one judges you or tells you to stop!
It seems that every other person has a story to tell about how they were asked not to sing when they first started in a choir in their formative years and so they stopped. That’s a shame because there is something very primal about standing next to another person and singing in unison: it unites us. Everyone can do it; we sing to connect, to celebrate, to grieve, as part of ritual or ceremony, it stirs the emotions with variability of content and style.
When we sing in harmony, we resonate with each other and it has a profound effect on our physiology. Singing together affects our hormones and increases the release of endorphins and oxytocin, the feel-good hormones, and we tend to synchronise our breathing and heart rates. This is both energising and relaxing at the same time. For me this tends to come after we have worked on a piece for a while so I am immersed in the music and not worrying about the notes or the timing or holding the music. I guess that is why our two signature songs – Let it Go and Blessing have so much connection for most of the choir.
Choristers who meet regularly to sing know how good it is for body, mind and soul. I sing with the Cloud 9 Women’s Choir because I love to sing, enjoy the company of a diverse range of women and benefit from the vocal and choral skills training provided weekly by our Musical Director Christine Storey and our accompanist Annabelle Clucas.
I look forward to the benefits at rehearsal every Thursday night. And the sense of accomplishment after we perform in concert is very special, and we share this by having supper, and the chance to talk and catch up with our audience.