Bristol Health Choir
Bristol Health Choir is a friendly community choir, they meet on Thursday evenings and are open to adults of all ages and singing abilities. There are no auditions or solos, and all music is taught by ear.
“The only thing Bristol Health choir is serious about is positive mental and physical health, so the focus is on songs and exercises that make us laugh and feel good.” Amy Clapinson, Choir Leader
Stuck in low-paid job after graduation, Amy was motivated to change the path she was on and signed up to a Masters degree in Music at the Open University. Amy’s studies compounded what she knew all along – that singing in a group brings tangible benefits to health and happiness.
In January 2013 Amy launched Bristol Health Choir with a focus on promoting health and well-being and encouraging non-singers to join in and find their voice.
Amy initially took it upon herself to fund the choir and with crossed fingers and a lot hard work it’s paid off. There’s a small attendance fee and the choir are constantly finding fun and interesting ways to boost income – at a sponsored ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’ everyone wore an eye-patch and sang sea shanties. These fundraisers not only bring in extra cash, members have a great time too.
Bristol Health Choir now make a modest profit, it’s sufficient to cover costs and leaves a little for the kitty.
Amy confesses that one of the main obstacles in setting up the choir was herself as she started to doubt if she had what it would take to be a leader. Amy found reading about the experience of others via online bogs really helpful, and started to tackle her lack of confidence by practicing conducting at the kitchen sink whilst washing up!
”People that are currently battling with depression or anxiety find the choir a great help.” Amy
Bristol Health Choir have performed many times, raised money for charity and attendance numbers are soaring. Amy’s even managed to get more men involved by offering them a discounted membership rate. But what’s the biggest reward for Amy? It has to be hearing about the positive impact that the choir has on its members. Members battling mental health issues have said that the choir has really helped them to feel positive, or move on from something difficult they’ve gone through. This uplifting feedback combined with the masses of laughs and giggles along the way makes The Bristol Health Choir a huge success.
“We have performed in all manner of places including a large public healthcare event at Bristol City Hall, to Clifton Zoo Gardens in front of the monkey house!” Amy
Find out more about Bristol Health Choir on their Facebook page.