By Maddie Zygmunt
OLDHAM Tuneless Choir is encouraging people of all abilities to make singing their New Year’s resolution.
Established by Gemma Cunliffe with former work colleague Sarah Wheeler in September 2019, the choir is open to those who “can’t carry a tune in a bucket”.
Gemma, a former member of Beeston Tuneless Choir in Nottingham, wanted to bring the concept to Oldham when she moved back last year.
It has proven very popular, with the choir enjoying local community performances and appearing on Christmas Eve’s Revolution Radio’s breakfast show.
Gemma explained: “I moved back to Oldham following the deaths of both my partner Paul and my mum within a year of each other.
“One thing that’s really helped me with my grief is singing and it was something I was keen to carry on with.
“Setting up my own choir has given me a new focus and I’d encourage anyone who wants to sing without a care to come along and join in the fun.”
Gemma teamed up with former work colleague Sarah Wheeler, who has the musical credentials to lead the choir.
Sarah said: “The choir is a place where the people can come and feel welcome and enjoy singing without being judged. Everyone is welcome – no one will sing too badly for us.”
The choir meets every other Wednesday at 7.30pm at The Cotton Rooms, 3-5 Rock Street, Oldham, with doors open from 7pm.
Their first meeting of 2020 is on Wednesday, January 8 and Gemma believes it is the perfect time for new members to get involved and do something uplifting in the New Year.
She said: “Singing gets our endorphins flowing, which are known as the happy hormones. So, as well as reducing stress it can help with anxiety and depression. It’s even been shown to help boost the immune system.
“Most of all though, it’s just a really pleasurable thing to do with other people. Our members tell us they feel uplifted when they leave and are brighter and happier the following day.”
The choir sings popular songs, with current favourites including ‘I’m gonna be (500 miles)’ by The Proclaimers and ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen.
People aren’t divided into parts, so everyone sings the lead vocals at whatever pitch they can manage.
First time attendance costs £10 including registration. It is then the equivalent of £5 per week for a term, or £7 pay as you go.
For more information visit their website www.tunelesschoir.com or find Oldham Tuneless on Facebook.