Joined by the Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett, Councillor Steve Watts, members of a choir exclusively for the self-confessed vocally challenged have marked their first year together with a very special birthday celebration.
The Royal Wootton Bassett Tuneless Choir launched on 29th January 2019 and welcomes anyone who simply loves to sing, even if they may lack the confidence or ability to do so in tune.
The group was established by Lis Hazell, a former primary school teacher and junior choir leader, who also runs The Chippenham Tuneless Choir.
Lis says: ‘The Royal Wootton Bassett Tuneless Choir is for anyone who wants to enjoy the physical, emotional and social benefits that group singing brings, without the pressure of trying to improve. Having no fear of judgement really does give our members the confidence to ‘sing like no one is listening’, which is the choir’s motto.
The benefits of singing, even tunelessly, are well-documented. Singing releases the same feel-good chemicals as chocolate, instantly improving your mood, reducing stress and relieving anxiety. It’s even been shown to help boost the immune system. Best of all, singing with a group of like-minded people is simply a fun thing to do.
Our members tell us that they feel energised and uplifted when they leave, and are brighter and happier the following day.’ Since its launch, the choir has proved to be extremely popular and now has over 100 registered members. Along with their weekly sessions, members have taken part in live performances all across the county, including the town’s annual carnival, commemorative D-Day celebrations and Christmas lights switch-on.
In October, they took part in a charity Christmas single recording, and were the only UK choir to be featured by the World Singing Day Organisation in their annual global montagevideo. But the choir doesn’t just benefit its members. Alongside singers from the Chippenham Tuneless Choir, over £2.7K was raised for charity throughout 2019 - £2K for the choirs’ nominated charity, Wiltshire Mind, and an additional £703.70 for the Springboard Opportunity Group, a Chippenham-based pre-school for children with special education needs and/or disabilities.
The Royal Wootton Bassett Tuneless Choir meets every Tuesday from 7:30pm to 8:45pm in the ballroom at The Angel Hotel.
Anyone interested in joining them can book a Tuneless taster session by e-mailing email@example.com. Taster sessions cost £8 and more details can be found at www.tunelesschoir.com/royalwb. Lis says: ‘Whether or not you become a better singer is not important. Sharing the joy of singing tunelessly with others will enrich your life far beyond the notes and the music.