An Irlam choir invites new members to join the group, as singing improves health and well-being.

The Ferry Warblers launched with a taster day on 4 September with 25 people joining the group.

Since that time, the choir has grown to have 33 members.

The group meets every Monday at the Cadishead Band Room on the corner of Ferry Hill road. In the session, the participants engage in breathing and vocal activities.

The group is co-lead by Julie Parker and Kathleen Hesford, who both have studied at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Hesford is the accompanist and Parker is the musical director of the Ferry Warblers.

Most of those attending the events have very little experience of singing in a group.

Parker said: “We were very keen when we advertised the choir that people did not think they had to be able to read music or be great singers.

“We want to encourage people to come to the session and have a go.”

Photo credit: Piotr Mielczarek

There is no audition to join the Ferry Warblers and anyone is welcome to be a part of the group.

Parker also said: “Sometimes people do not join choirs as they think they have to be a certain standard, but that is not the case, everyone is good enough.”

The Irlam choir is also designed to help with mental and physical well-being as singing is a natural anti-depressant.

Parker said: “Singing benefits your mind; as it helps with your memory; it also triggers emotion within you, and singing can help with the grieving process.

“Singing helps a lot with breathing, people often shallow breathe throughout the day, but we do a lot of deep breathing in singing which gets more oxygen into the body.”

Brian Davenport, 81 is one of the members of the choir he joined the group in September, and he describes how singing is beneficial to him as he suffers from COPD.

Alec Hughes and his wife Maureen have been part of various choirs for over 12 years, as they claim that it benefits their mental health.

Alec said: “Singing is good, as sometimes I feel a bit down when I come in and all of the sudden when I am singing I become happy.”

The choir has no age limit and is open to any age, but the attendees currently range from the age of 40 and above.

The Ferry Warblers are practicing for a little concert, which will take place on Monday, 16 December 2019 in a sheltered accommodation where one of the members lives.

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