The SHM Foundation is working in partnership with Voices Now, a UK-based charity committed to enabling people to listen to and sing in choirs, to launch a survey into choir singing across the UK.
About Voices Now
Voices Now gives choirs a voice. They drive the movement that encourages and enables all people regardless of background and previous experience to sing and enjoy listening to choirs. Through their Festivals at the Roundhouse, they have successfully created collaborations with choirs from different backgrounds and got them working with professional artists in different fields.
Voices Now put choirs at the forefront and are perfectly positioned to host a place where choirs can promote themselves, and potential singers can go to find choirs.
What’s the project?
Voices Now believe previous research into UK choirs has not been sufficient and we think current estimates of membership are too low.
So together, the SHM Foundation and Voices Now will launch a survey to find out how many choirs there are in the UK. The results will be made publicly available on an online map so that choirs become more visible and people can see what is available in their local area.
Choir singing has measurable benefits for physical, mental and community wellbeing. We think there are many millions of people singing in choirs every week in the UK. Hence, choirs are making a large contribution to national wellbeing and thus cutting costs in the health sector.
However, choir-singing is fragmented. Choirs from different backgrounds and musical genres have their own central membership bodies, whether they are Barbershop groups, Gospel choirs, or choral societies. Though there are many representative bodies, thousands are working on their own such that there nobody knows what sort of choirs, where they are or even how many there are.
Photos by Katura Jensen