Heavenly voices: Sing Out Children's Choir
Glasgow choir helps children discover the joy of singing
Ever since Gareth Malone became a regular fixture on our television screens, new choirs have been popping up across the UK. From work places to village halls, thousands of people are discovering the physical, mental and social benefits of singing, not to mention the sense of achievement when you nail a tricky harmony.
But while adults are busy having fun, children are often consigned to singing songs at school assembly, whether they like them or not. Keen to give the youngsters of Glasgow a chance to find their voice, Angela Watson formed the Sing Out Children’s Choir in 2014.
‘The choir grew out of an idea my teenage son Aidan had, to run a summer children's choir in 2013, which was very successful,’ explains Watson. ‘The following year, St Margaret's Church in Newlands applied for a Heritage Lottery grant to renovate their organ, and they included a bid to properly fund the choir for two years, so children could come along for free.’
And so, Sing Out was born. Aimed exclusively at children in primary 4–7, the choir (which currently has spaces for new members) meets every Tuesday from 3.30–4.50pm, and manages to squeeze in time for a few games and snacks as well.
Weekly rehearsals build up to public performances, with children currently rehearsing their festive repertoire, including the fabulously titled ‘I want a hippopotamus for Christmas’.
For Watson, who also runs the Pollokshaws Community Choir for all ages, singing and performing is enriching participants lives in many ways.
‘Singing helps young and older people alike to become more confident and foster a sense of healthy team spirit,’ she says. ‘Children love performing and there is a great sense of achievement when they produce a lovely sound and provoke an emotional reaction in their audience.
‘Sing Out has also sung at charity events, and the children really enjoy feeling they can do good work in their community by singing.’