Community choir boosts community spirit 

28/07/10

A Bolton community choir is really hitting the high notes after just a few months of practice.

Fifty people from Tonge and the Haulgh came together about six months ago and have been attending the weekly community choir sessions each Wednesday since.

The choir is run by the council’s Music Service in a joint project funded by Bolton Council and Bolton at Home. Not only has it been a fun activity for those involved – it’s also boosted community spirit in the area.

The majority of singers had never sung before but, with expert coaching from Jane Hampson and Karen Lindop, both from the Music Service, their sheer determination and enthusiasm has really paid off.

The budding singers have even surprised themselves by how well they are doing and they have already performed in public – a concert at the local St Augustine’s Church on Ainsworth Lane in June which had a massive turnout.

Local residents and family and friends of the choir filled the church for the performance.

Choir member, Hazel Archer, summed up everyone’s feelings about the whole experience.

She said: “Wow! What a joy. A fantastic bunch of people, we’ve made new friends and found new talent. This has proved to have been a terrific confidence building experience. These days there are so few activities of this nature, which brings so much pleasure to so many people.”

Another choir member, Lorna Cruice added: “The choir has given me the opportunity to meet new people in my neighbourhood. We have all been able to come together from different backgrounds and create something new and positive. It has been fun and uplifting. It brings us all closer together. I have learnt new skills and this will encourage me to pursue other singing opportunities.”

Since their performance in June, the choir has also made a ‘cameo’ appearance at Bolton Music Singers (BMS) main annual performance at St Augustine's Church. They also sang at the One Bolton: Pride of Bolton event on Saturday July 17 and Tonge Carnival on Sunday July 18.

Councillor Linda Thomas, Executive Member for Corporate Resources and Health, said: “Initiatives like this are not only great fun for the people involved, but also help to promote community spirit in a unique and very exciting way. I wish the choir every success in the future.”

For further information on the choir please contact Samantha Higham, Tonge and the Haulgh Neighbourhood Manager on 01204 332839.

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