• Handpicked Harrogate

Call to men to join choir and Rock Up and Sing!

A Harrogate choir is encouraging men to become better at caring for themselves and letting go of their emotions in 2017.

With more than 400 members across four adult choirs, Rock Up and Sing! director Rhiannon Gayle has seen the positive impact singing can have on people’s lives. However, she says men are always more reluctant to put themselves out of their comfort zone and try something new – which means they can miss out on the benefits as well.

“There are numerous studies to show the benefits of singing, and particularly as part of a group,” said Rhiannon.

“Being in a choir can help people to deal with physical and mental health problems, as well as making them feel more confident and enabling them to deal with difficult situations in other areas of their life.

“Since I founded Rock Up and Sing! in 2009, I have seen the results first hand and they never become less moving.

“However, I have also noticed a big difference in the way men and women deal with problems.

“Women tend to find outlets for their feelings, such as singing, and share them openly with friends, but men seem to feel less comfortable with that.

“They want to keep everything to themselves and perhaps believe they have to be ‘strong’. I want to show them that there is another way.”

This year, Rhiannon is calling on men to do one thing that will make a difference to their lives. This might be opening up about a problem, or it might be as simple as doing something for themselves – such as joining a choir.

“We have a fantastic group of around 45 male singers across our three mixed choirs at Rock Up and Sing!,” she said.

“They love having the chance to challenge themselves by doing something a bit different, and they have formed some very strong friendships too.

“It’s not about being the greatest singer or suddenly changing everything you do, but about trying something different that might just be good for you.

“I want more men to take that first step – to push themselves slightly out of their comfort zone and see where it might take them.”

Rock Up and Sing!’s three Harrogate choirs rehearse on weeknights in the studio on Claro Road, along with one at Skipton Girls’ High School. The choirs are opening their doors to new members, who do not have to have any experience or be able to read music – enthusiasm and a willingness to learn are all the skills required.

Taster sessions are available during the fortnight from Monday, January 9, when anyone thinking of joining can try a rehearsal or two before deciding whether to commit to the full term. To find out more or book a place, email cath@rockupandsing.com