Action For Youth Choir

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Action For Youth Choir

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The SAY Choir was formed in September 2010 and was the brain child of Alan Lewis whose hard work and vision managed to organize the grant aid funding, venues across Skelmersdale for rehearsals, the advertising and promotion to secure the membership of the choir and the charity concert’s venue, guests and audience. My role in Crescendo was to be employed as the choir mistress and musical director.

We began rehearsals in September and our numbers soon grew from 24 to 54 such was the enthusiasm and need for such a community activity. Attendance was excellent over the three community centre venues. We chose a World War 2 theme for our charity concert which was set for 10 weeks ahead on the 13th November to raise money for the Lord Mayors Charity “Help for Heroes” and for a Breast Cancer Awareness charity which the choir were keen to support.

There was a vast range in age from 9 to 90 years young and in ability and background. It soon became apparent that our original aim of providing a health and wellbeing opportunity through singing in a choir had much wider ranging benefits in providing much needed social cohesion and an opportunity to get out of the house especially for many of the more isolated pensioners.  Our choral community had a barrister, teachers, carers, pensioners, professional men and women, the unemployed, migrant workers, recovering mental health patients, community charity workers, children and teenagers from a local homeless Crisis Centre all supporting each other in their journey to self confidence and esteem through performance, some of it solo. It was also an excellent opportunity for much needed intergenerational contact between the young and old in the community. We also had quite a number of families coming together to sing which was lovely to see, choir providing a rare opportunity to do something creative together.

All were learning new skills of vocal production, and were putting in extra practice. Some 12 of them had found the confidence to sing solo and I was giving them extra tuition. All were getting in touch with their creativity often unused since distant schooldays and their commitment and hard work really paid off as each week they sounded even better and could hear it!

Excitement grew as the day of the concert became imminent and all entered into the spirit of the occasion by providing their own costumes, selling tickets, making props and generally encouraging and supporting each other, especially the teenagers from the Crisis Centre who were very nervous about their Andrews Sisters quartet spot! They were all well rehearsed and we had a full and varied concert programme.

The concert was a sellout and a great success. The audience participation was excellent and the atmosphere electric. The choir performed the best they ever had before an audience and the soloists really came into their own and were highly praised. The WW2 buffet was amazing. The Mayor and the dignitaries were very complimentary and over £800 was raised for our charities.

Following on from such a successful project the choir  were very keen to carry on as a choir.  The atmosphere and support for each other at our rehearsals is something that we feel is essential for the future of our  communities. We have decided to put on a Carol Concert on 22nd December in Upholland and this past 5 weeks have been working towards that with great success.

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