A choir set up in the very heart of Leeds’s business district is making workers happier, healthier and altogether more relaxed, as they benefit from the joy to be had from singing together.
Meeting every Thursday lunchtime at Wellington Place, the choir sings well-known rock and pop hits in three-part harmony.
The group is run by professional musician and choir leader, Nic Slack, whose work as a choir leader saw him featured in the 2011 ITV documentary ‘The Choir that Rocks’. Nic came up with the idea for a weekly no commitment, no audition, turn-up-and-sing lunchtime session for anyone who loves singing. The choir has already seen a significant amount of interest from local companies, including Shulmans LLP which has played a significant role in promoting the benefits to its own employees, many of whom are now choir members, and the wider Wellington Place business community.
Nic said: “The spirit and sound of the Wellington Place Workplace Choir is amazing; you just can’t beat singing with a fantastic bunch of people in a really great space. I wanted to set the choir up in the heart of the city to open it up to people working in surrounding businesses, giving them something a bit different to do at lunchtime.”
He explained: “The benefits of joining a choir go far beyond merely the fun to be had in really belting out a tune. New research shows that singing is good for your heart and simultaneously works both sides of the brain, also releasing endorphins which leaves you feeling uplifted, alert and helping to reduce stress. What’s more, singing as part of a group can bring about a calming effect that is as beneficial to your health as yoga.
“And, of course, it’s a brilliant way to have fun with your colleagues and meet new people.”
Tim Halstead, Wellington Place Workplace Choir member and managing partner at Shulmans, added: “The choir has been a brilliant addition to Wellington Place, bringing together our colleagues and other business people in the area, and singing our hearts out once a week. When the next phase of Wellington Place opens this spring we hope even more people will take part. It’s really therapeutic and great fun – I recommend it to everyone!”
Dominique Simcox, marketing manager for MEPC, who are undertaking and managing the Wellington Place development, added: “It’s great to see people coming together to form the Wellington Place Workplace Choir. Their enthusiasm, passion and energy is infectious and it’s become an integral part of the community spirit at Wellington Place. What’s more, it truly represents our belief in the importance of wellbeing at work and our conscious efforts to help people feel healthier and happier during their working day.”
Nic said: “Hopefully, the success of the choir will encourage others to come and join us; it’s a brilliant way to break up the day and everyone involved, myself included, looks forward to it each week! Anyone who works in the area – and wants to take a look – should come along to the MEPC Marketing Suite for 12.30 pm one Thursday. You don’t need to work at Wellington Place itself.”
Nic also runs choir sessions for the public, known as So Choir, in Leeds and Wakefield, which is ideal for friends and groups of colleagues wanting to come together and sing. Anyone wishing to find out more about So Choir or speak to Nic about setting up their own work choir can visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/sochoir.