Sing for joy with new wellbeing choir at library

Singing should be joyous and for everyone – that’s the philosophy behind a new community wellbeing choir, which anyone can join.

Dee Johnston

No singing skill is required for the choir and there are no auditions. Any budding singers who want to sing for pleasure are welcome to join. The choir will meet at Scarborough library.

It is the brainchild of library supervisor Dee Johnston, who has a musical background and has taught music. Pianist Paul McCann will run the choir with Dee.

Dee said: “The idea came about because a couple of customers asked me if I had thought of setting up a community choir. I hadn’t, but I started to think about it and my dad, who is also musical, said do it, put your musical ability to use.

“We’re thrilled to be starting our new singing venture and hope that we get a good turnout. We really want people who are perhaps slightly lonely or don’t take part in other activities or attend any other groups.

“Singing as part of a group can give you a real sense of wellbeing and of joy. This really is about an overall sense of wellbeing. A lot of choirs are almost semi-professional and people have to audition. Ours is open to anyone. It is all about singing for joy, so come along and join us.”

The Friends of Scarborough Library group is providing £1,000 to support the choir with costs such as T-shirt for members and refreshments.

Dee has already had a lot of interest in the choir and hopes more than 30 people could be at the first meeting.

In June, the library will host an armed forces event and Dee has tentatively earmarked this for the choir’s first performance, with a selection of wartime songs. Generally, the choir’s repertoire will be a mixture of old and new. Dee mentions Abba and the Beatles and says she has John Lennon’s Imagine in mind for the choir’s first song.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Scarborough library is a perfect location for the new choir as it is centrally located and is lucky enough to have its own concert room with grand piano. Once again, this puts the library at the heart of supporting the community it serves.”

The first choir meeting will be on Thursday, 25 April, at the library from 3pm to 4pm. It will be a chance for the new singers to meet each other while enjoying a cuppa and a slice of cake. After that, the choir will meet fortnightly in the library’s concert room.

This story was published 10 April 2019