An Ely choir has made the finals of a prestigious international award celebrating youth activities – despite being made up of adults.
On Wednesday (May 18) it was announced that Sing! Choirs had made the finals of the 2016 International What’s On 4 Junior Awards in the Best ‘Me Time’ Activity category.
It’s the first time Sing! Choirs has been entered for the awards, which honour the best children’s activities in the UK and Australia – but also contain some adult categories.
Sing! Choirs director Kathryn Rowland said: “We are very excited. A lot of people have voted for us because singing is about taking time out for yourself. A lot of talk about improving mental health is about doing things for yourself.”
Next month the Cambridgeshire based choir will discover if it has beaten the four other finalists in their category to win the award.
With people leading increasingly busy lives, it’s become ever more important to set aside time to do an enjoyable activity, says Kathryn, who runs two choirs in Ely with over 100 members, ranging in age from eight to 89.
“People like the way singing makes them feel. We have a real mix of people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences.
“There are also lots of health benefits to singing. It can improve your lung capacity. It makes you feel better, brighter and happier.”
Singing had helped some members cope with challenges in their lives, Kathryn said.
“It’s extremely humbling when you hear people’s stories. Singing takes their minds off their day. And of course, some people just love to sing.”
Sing! Choirs is coming up to its fifth birthday and during that time, many friendships have been formed.
Kathryn runs both adult and youth choirs in Ely, neither of which audition for members.
Sing! Choirs Sings the Shows will take place at the Bishop’s Garden, The Gallery, Ely, on July 2 from 7pm.
The evening outdoor concert is part of the Isle of Ely Arts Festival. Tickets cost £7 per adult, £5 per child and £20 per family. Children under five can attend free of charge.