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Crescendo trains and empowers in song by bringing vulnerable communities of people together to form choirs. We have worked with Stroke Survivors, Alzheimer Patients, Asylum Link, Young Offenders, Women Refuges, Special needs Youth choirs, Male Voice Age Concern choirs and Massed Children’s Choirs to put on musical performances in their communities of shows like Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Songs that Won the War and Calamity Jane.
Crescendo is run by Bernie Whelan who has obtained a B.Ed in Education she has an M.A. in Popular Music from Liverpool University and adapts and writes musicals to suit the needs of her choirs and audiences working in many different genres of music and song.
She has worked on radio in Nashville with Dolly Parton’s producer with even a short stint as a backing singer there. An accomplished solo singer she has sung with the Liverpool Philharmonic as a soloist and on BBC radio and also as a choir director and trainer of massed children’s choirs for prestigious events with the orchestra. She continues to keep her links with her roots as a school teacher of 25 years with schools in Merseyside’s Kirkby, Toxteth, Walton and St Helen’s through performing arts projects in schools. Recently she performed on Anthony Gormley’s plinth in ”One and Other” in Trafalgar Square singing for an hour and promoting her business as a live work of art. She is also featured in the book of the event published this month. She has fellowship of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and is student of the year 2008/2009.
She takes the children in her choirs not only to perform in hospitals and care homes but to interact socially with Alzheimers and Stroke patients as mini therapists. She is keen to develop programmes which enhance intergenerational contact between the young and elderly and infirm, through singing. In her PCT work as a singing therapist she is in the process of conducting clinical research to prove the benefits of choral singing in the early stages of dementia with consultants at a local hospital which it is hoped will be published in 2011 which will make her an expert in her field.
During her workshops and conference talks she leads us through ways of controlling and projecting our voices through fun, warm-up vocal techniques which give us a cardio vascular workout and release those feel good serotonin and endorphin hormones! In corporate circles she uses these techniques to build teamwork, self confidence and vocal projection ending in a choral performance with a lot of fun and laughter on the way. She also conducts fun icebreakers at conferences to energise people and improve and promote communication.
In her work for the year of Health and Wellbeing since 2010 she has been a key presenter in the Wellbeing Project in St Helens on the Ignite Your Life series of workshops for the PCT which has won a top award with the NHS in its Mental Health Projects category. This work continues within Halton PCT Trust. Click here to find out more about Bernie’s work with the Wellbeing Project.
Her 54 strong community choir Skelmersdale Action for Youth (SAY), ages between 9 and 83 gained a lot of local media coverage building up to its first concert in aid of Help for Heroes at Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre which had a World War 2 theme.
The Ford/Litherland Community Choir is 18 strong aged between 12 – 84. They have recently sung at Queens’ Jubilee Celebrations, BooFest Olympic Celebrations, St George’s Hall Christmas Teea Dance, Carol Service at St Philips, and coming in February, The Narnia Experience. They meet Monday 6-7pm at Ford Community Centre, Ford Lane.
EVOC Women’s Choir (EVOCALISE) is made up of Cancer patients and Macmillan Nurses from the Liverpool Women’s Hospital singing for their health and wellbeing. They do charity concerts and concerts to raise awareness on how singing helps health and wellbeing.
St William of York Primary School Choir, Thornton sing at local OAP nursing homes and have sung at the Liverpool Museum and St George’s Hall for Rememberance Day, linked to the National Curriculum (WW2) and promoting intergenerational contact, and aiding memory recall of those with early Dementia. They also take part in annual tea dances learning to dance to WW2 clasics.