by ANTONY CLAY
A CHOIR is singing a song of success after attracting new members — despite sessions currently being online only.
The Rotherham Carers and Co Choir, which began last October, has attracted keen singers aged from their twenties to retirees.
Founder and facilitator Jayne Price says the choir is giving people a real “mood booster” in these difficult times and she looks forward to the ensemble performing in public in the not-too-distant future.
The Rotherham Carers and Co Choir meets on Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm to 8pm online via Zoom and participants have already belted out classics tunes such as Delilah, under the guidance of leader Phoebe Taylor-Thorpe who is a professional music teacher and Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) tutor.
Jayne, who is chair of Rotherham Carers Forum, decided to apply for funding from the Mental Health Small Grant Scheme to get the choir off the ground after being inspired by a similar group in Rochdale which has been running since 2014.
“I thought that might be a good idea to try in Rotherham,” she said.
“The idea of the grants from the Mental Health Small Grant Scheme was to support activities that could continue through lockdown.”
At the moment there are around 15 choir members — and there has even been a contribution from a dog!
Jayne said: “The group aims to bring people together, especially unpaid carers, with a view to promoting wellbeing, raising self-esteem, and alleviating loneliness and depression.
“The sessions also include friends and family as they may also enjoy spending an hour with the group sharing some time out with music and song.
“It’s a communal thing, a social thing. I think we have the right mixture of people.
“It’s about making friends and having a good singalong like in a pub or something. Sometimes people do a solo.
“It’s just a nice way for people to sit around singing together. The joyousness comes out of it and you just forget what’s going in the world.
“It’s a real mood booster. It makes me feel good and I look forward to it.
“It is a friendly group, quite easy going.
“At the moment we are informal because we cannot do much about harmonising on Zoom because there is a delay online.”
Jayne is currently thinking about potential venues for the choir to meet up in person once restrictions are lifted and there are even plans to perform.
“Hopefully we can do performances, such as at events like Carers Week in June.
“I hope that the choir will make carers visible.”
To get involved with the choir, visit the Rotherham Carers and Co Choir Facebook page or join a meeting using the
Zoom meeting ID 812 1904 1508 and passcode 417773.
The next online meeting dates for the group is April 14. Meetings are free.