Choir master Dan McDwyer and arts organisation TripleC* are to start a Manchester choir for people with mental health issues.
The choir will be unique: it will be a safe way for people to join in with a group activity with proven wellbeing benefits. Additionally, it will also come with on-hand psychological support to signpost people to further services if needed.
The choir starts in the first week of March. The message is that anyone who has had or still has a mental health condition is welcome to join. It will be at the Bridgewater Hall and no previous singing experience is needed.
Dan McDwyer, has also worked with the Parrswood Choir who sang with Ariana Grande at the One Love Concert. He said: “Music can be such a powerful channel for emotions – and singing with one voice brings a sense of unity to everyone who takes part.
“The music will contemporary and modern – and that upbeat feel sums up the project and its aspirations.”
Psychologist Elaine Craig, who will also be at the weekly events, is keen to stress the proactive benefits of the choir.
“There are so many benefits for people, with joining with a group activity,” she says. “It stops isolation and by singing with one voice, there is a real element of team work and working towards a single goal.
“This isn’t going to be a choir that defines people by their mental health condition – it will be a safe place where people can have fun.
The results of the choir will also be evaluated by wellbeing questionnaires before and after performances, for those people who give their permission to do so.