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World Mental Health Day: Rock Choir for wellbeing in Hungerford, Newbury and Tadley

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After a long 18 months, Rock Choir members from Hungerford, Newbury and Tadley have reunited for live singing rehearsals and are experiencing the huge benefits of social singing for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The largest contemporary choir in the world, Rock Choir, has officially kicked off its autumn term in Hungerford, Newbury and Tadley under the guidance of new Rock Choir leader Chloe Payne.

As Rock Choir opens its doors to live rehearsals for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Chloe welcomes the members - known as ‘Rockies’ - back into the rehearsal room.

During the height of lockdown, Rock Choir had to move all rehearsals online, teaching and rehearsing via Zoom and YouTube sessions. The community spirit of Rock Choir really flourished during this time and local Rockies maintained vital connections with their fellow singers by organising online charity events, quizzes and a host of social activities - providing a lifeline to those isolated by the Covid pandemic.

As most restrictions have now been lifted, Rock Choir is able to gather for indoor rehearsals and harmonise together for the first time in 18 months. The new autumn term will give Rock Choir Members the chance to learn four new, specially-arranged songs including the uplifting ‘Make your own kind of music’ by Paloma Faith.

The local Choirs will also be preparing for a number of live performances across the region this term, including:

Sunday, October 17, 6pm, Concert at St Mary’s Church, Thatcham, with Cold Ash Brass

Saturday, November 27 and December 11, Yattendon Christmas Tree Farm

Saturday, December 4 (daytime) ‘Warming Up For Christmas’, Thatcham.

Sunday, December 5, Shaw House Christmas Fair

In addition to the live rehearsals, Rock Choir is giving those who prefer or need to remain isolated the opportunity to take part in the autumn term with the launch of the National Online Rock Choir. To ensure they don’t miss a single note, members can learn all of the songs from the comfort of their own homes and can rejoin the live Choirs whenever they are ready to do so.

Local Rock Choir leader Chloe Payne said: “It has been such a joyful experience to meet the Rockies and hear them sing together in harmony after such a difficult time apart. Our members have been so committed to Rock Choir and their determination to keep singing and to keep those social connections alive during lockdown was inspiring. Rock Choir is like a family and to see that family back together and to witness the healing power of singing and socialising in person is very special. We would love to welcome anyone who would like to join Rock Choir this term and invite people of all ages and abilities to come and be a part of this fantastic group of singers.”

Caroline Redman Lusher, creator and creative director of Rock Choir has been highlighting the importance of group singing and the powerful positive impact it has on mental health and wellbeing. She said: “I am overjoyed that our Rockies have been allowed to regroup and sing together inside once again. It’s been a long and emotional 18 months waiting for this moment to happen. I am so proud of all the Rock Choir members and my dedicated team who passionately led our choirs with the love, energy and positivity that Rock Choir is famous for.

The nation’s mental health is at its worst and the services and support to combat loneliness, depression and anxiety are in huge demand and oversubscribed. Allowing choirs to reunite across the whole of the UK will now have a tremendous and positive impact and allow a healing process to begin for those who take part. Choirs of all types provide a lifeline and this lifeline can now be reinstated.”

If you would like to go along and see what Rock Choir is all about, sign up for a free taster session at your local Rock Choir at www.rockchoir.com

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