Our 50-minute set included a broad selection of pop, rock and show tunes. A bit like a chocolate box, there was something for everyone and it was lovely to see some tapping feet and bobbing heads in the audience. The performance didn’t include the entire choir but judging by the comments from the man who served me in the bar that I popped into across the road after our gig, we were definitely making ourselves heard! Once we’d finished our performance there were quite a few smiles all round and that included choir members, as well the happy faces who’d been watching and listening to us. As Abba so cleverly put it (in one of the songs we belted out on Saturday), ‘without a song or a dance, what are we?’
There’s been quite a few news stories about the positive health benefits of singing (link to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10496056/Choir-singing-boosts-your-mental-health.html) - both physically and mentally - and as someone who up until October 2012, hadn’t sung at all for 30 years, my experience has definitely backed up this medical research. I work for a health website and have quite a demanding job which I really enjoy, but am aware that at times my job can take my stress to levels where it has a negative impact on my health and happiness.
I’ve been a member of Glee Bah Gum for 18 months now and every Monday (bar public holidays and the occasional times I can’t attend due to other commitments) I look forward to our evening rehearsals, as no matter what’s happened during day, I know that after two hours of singing any tension or stress I was holding on to, will be gone. Put simply, it’s a fantastic ‘release valve’ for me. Singing is a really physical experience too and, just like playing a musical instrument, more you sing, the better you get at it. Plus, we’re a choir that incorporates movement and dancing into our performance - sometimes this really gets energetic so I get an extra workout!
Everyone has their different reasons for wanting to sing and mine were because I thought it would improve my health and I wanted to try something new and the icing on the cake is, I’ve also made some great new friends along the way. I didn’t know I actually COULD sing until I joined the choir because it’s not something most people get the chance to do in their lives once you’ve left your school days behind.
I’m so glad I tried it and if you’re reading this and thinking ‘I’d like to give it a go’, our choir is open to everyone in Sheffield (or, if you’re happy to travel to sing with us, from further afield!), of any age, no matter whether you’ve sung before or not.