Tackling isolation, boosting confidence and helping to improve good mental health are just some of the benefits of Thanet’s two rock choirs.
The singing groups, which start for a new term this month, have been steadily growing – and new members are always welcome.
Both groups are being led by Ramsgate mum-of-one Catherine Courtley who takes over on the isle from Jonathan Grosberg.
The former PR worker decided to take a different route in life following the birth of daughter Lily, now four-years-old.
She said: “I’ve been working in the rock choir for about three years now. I had done music as a youngster and after Lily was born, I fancied a change. I saw the rock choir advertised and thought I could do it.
“It is really good for the family as it is all in term time. I was working in Ashford, Folkestone and Deal before and now start in Thanet.”
The Margate Rock Choir has been established for eight years and has some 80 members. A new Ramsgate choir began last September and has already attracted 40 members.
Catherine said: “There are quite a few benefits to the choir, immediate and longer term. An immediate benefit to mental health is that your mood is lifted by singing. People come in and they might have had a bad day but singing together is uplifting, it gives them a boost and they can’t stop smiling. Physically it helps with how well you breathe and lowers stress levels.
“In the longer term, the more you come the more you get the social and community benefits, making friends which is one of the nicest parts.
“As a choir leader you see in the beginning a bunch of strangers who then become really close and have a community network.
“There is also the confidence people gain. Some people are really shy, maybe even finding it difficult to talk to others, but there are members who were like that who now stand and sing solo!”
Ramsgate Rock Choir meets on Wednesdays from 8pm-9.30pm at Ramsgate Arts Primary School in Newington Road. The new term starts on Wednesday, January 15. More details here.
Margate Rock Choir meets on Thursdays from 10am-11.30am at Holy Trinity Church in St Mary’s Avenue. The new term starts on Thursday, January 16. More details here.
New members are always welcome. There are no auditions and no sheet music, all people need is to love singing. Book a free taster session at www.rockchoir.com.
Nationally Rock Choir has been running for ten years and has some 30,000 members joining, making it the largest contemporary choir in the world.