Friday 17 June 2016

Singing 4 Breathing choir

Singing 4 Breathing, a group set up by Occupational Therapy students to help people diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), took to the stage at the prestigious Royal and Derngate earlier this week to sing as part of a community concert.

The Singing 4 Breathing choir features people who suffer from COPD; a lifelong condition that affects the lungs making it difficult for people to breathe. The choir’s origins lie in a student project – an initial run of six musical sessions attended by members of the public with COPD – and the project has now grown into a full and tuneful choir.

Fifty members of Singing 4 Breathing performed at Monday’s Community Concert, joining local dance and performance groups for an evening of music and dance.

Co-founder and third year student James Wyatt commented: “The event was a high success and the group finished off with a standing ovation from the full house. During the performance I had help from three Occupation Therapy lecturers, and also students from different OT cohorts, who supported the choir who have mainly got COPD or respiratory conditions. We also had two guitar players, a penny whistle player and a keyboardist to assist with the performance. Once we had finished there were not many dry eyes in the house!” A video of the choir’s performance is available online here.

Anne Segalini, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, commented: “Being there was such a moving and inspirational experience; it is hard to put into words.” Her colleague and fellow Senior Lecturer, Fiona Burbeary, added: “It was a real honour to share this experience, the choir are truly inspirational.”

The Singing 4 Breathing group meets every Wednesday for singing sessions at Parklands Community Centre.  James explained: “This group is amazing, not just for everybody involved but for the community as a whole. Singing is an occupation that many people enjoy and there are huge mental and physical health benefits to being in a choir. If lung capacity is improved it’s easier to take part in daily activities, get out of the house, meet people, and do the things you enjoy.”

Designed for people with respiratory conditions, the free singing sessions are held at Parklands Community Centre every Wednesday between 1-2pm. Formal diagnosis is not required to attend, and all are welcome. The group are on Facebook and Twitter.

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