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Sing with Us FAQs

What is Sing with Us?

Who can join a Sing with Us choir?

How do I join a choir?

Why did Tenovus Cancer Care decide to set up choirs?

How many choirs do you currently have?

When are you launching more choirs?

Do I have to pay to join a Sing with Us choir?

What happens at my first rehearsal?

How do we know that singing in a choir is good for you?

How often do I have to perform if I join a Sing with Us choir?

How is Sing with Us funded?

What evidence do you have that singing works to cure cancer?

How do I book Sing with Us to perform at my event?

Can my company sponsor a choir?

 

What is Sing with Us?

Sing with Us is a unique network of community choirs for people affected by cancer.

Singing is incredibly important to Tenovus Cancer Care. It unites people, improves wellbeing and makes you happier. Our Sing with Us choirs are fun, uplifting and friendly, and are open to anyone affected by cancer whether you're a patient, survivor, carer or someone who has been bereaved through cancer. We have choirs all across Wales and some in England now too, meeting weekly for support, friendship and music!

Who can join a Sing with Us choir?

Anyone affected by cancer can join a Sing with Us choir, so if you’ve ever had a diagnosis of cancer or cared for someone who has, or if you have lost a loved one to the disease, then our choirs may be just the thing for you.

How do I join a choir?

If you think you might be interested in singing with us, please register your interest either via this form on our website, or by calling our free Support Line on 0808 808 1010 (open 8am-8pm, 365 days a year).

Your local choir leader will then get in touch by email or phone, whichever you prefer, to have a chat to you about the choir and let you know how it all works. We’ll then invite you to join us at one of our monthly taster sessions, so you can have a go and see for yourself what it’s like to be in a Sing with Us choir.

Why did Tenovus Cancer Care decide to set up choirs?

Our first ever choir was actually our staff choir, which was set up as a team building activity; we all loved it and we thought it would be a great thing to do for cancer patients and their families. We were also particularly interested in the beneficial effects we believed singing might have on patients, so we set up our first choir for patients and carers as a research study to measure the benefits of singing. The results of that study were so positive that in 2011 we applied for Lottery funding to set up more choirs, and the rest is history.

How many choirs do you currently have?

We currently have 16 choirs in Wales, in Abergavenny, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Barry, Bridgend, Cardiff North and South, Carmarthen, Cwmbran, Llandudno, Llanelli, Llanidloes, Merthyr, Pontypridd, Swansea, Wrexham. We also have 1 choir in England, in Guildford, Surrey. At the moment we are considering new locations in England so if you live outside Wales we encourage you to get in touch by emailing sing@tenovuscancercare.org.uk.

When are you launching more choirs?

We hope to be able to launch more choirs in the future; this will be dependent on funding available. For more information, please contact the Sing with Us team on 0808 808 1010 or sing@tenovuscancercare.org.uk  

Do I have to pay to join a Sing with Us choir?

The Sing with Us choirs are free to join. We do however ask all members whether you would like to make a contribution to help keep our choirs running, as we receive no external funding and rely on donations. The suggested amount is £2 per week, payable either through Direct Debit (we’ll give you a form at rehearsals if you’d like) or via a weekly cash donation, whichever suits you best. If you feel unable to contribute for any reason, that’s absolutely fine and in no way affects your choir membership.

What happens at my first rehearsal?

Our lovely welcome desk volunteers will meet you on arrival and get you registered. Your choir leader will also say hello and find you somewhere to sit that’s comfortable for you.   We’ll give you a lyric sheet to follow (we don’t use musical scores) and the Choir Leader will teach all the music by ear at a pace that suits everyone.

How do we know that singing in a choir is good for you?

It’s important to us that all our services, including Sing with Us, provide proven support to people affected by cancer.  Since 2010 we’ve completed three separate research studies with Cardiff University and the Royal College of Music so find out more about how singing can help people.  The results have been incredible, indicating that on both a psychological and a physical level our Sing with Us choirs specifically help to:

  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve immune function
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Reduce perception of pain
  • Provide a supportive community
  • Give people a positive distraction from cancer treatment or bereavement

To find out more about our research, please visit our singing research pages.

How often do I have to perform if I join a Sing with Us choir?

All the choirs are very popular and get asked to perform regularly in their local communities. We also organise our own concerts 2 or 3 times a year, so there is plenty of opportunity to perform if you wish to. Your choir leader will let you know about upcoming performances and you can choose to be involved in as many as you like; there is no pressure to perform if you do not want to. Concerts are always lots of fun though so we hope that you will join in often.

How is Sing with Us funded?

Between 2012 and 2015 the Sing with Us choirs in Wales were supported by a £1 million grant from The Big Lottery AdvantAGE fund. Now that funding has ended we rely on the generosity of our supporters, including individuals, communities and businesses, to keep our choirs going.

If you’d like to make a donation to help keep us singing, please visit our donation page. If you work for a business and think you might like to sponsor a choir, please get in touch with our Corporate Team.

What evidence do you have that singing works to cure cancer?

Whilst we are not claiming that singing can cure cancer, our research has shown that singing in our choirs makes people feel happier, less isolated and even lessens their pain. A diagnosis of cancer can create a range of practical and emotional issues and these choirs are just one way that Tenovus Cancer Care supports cancer patients; many people in our choirs have gone on to access other Tenovus Cancer Care support services such as counselling and benefits advice. Others just want to come along and sing once a week for fun, which is absolutely great too.

To find out more about our research, please visit our singing research pages.

How do I book Sing with Us to perform at my event?

To book a choir please contact gigs@tenovuscancer.org.uk or call us on 0808 808 1010 and one of the Sing with Us team will ring you back as soon as possible.

Can my company sponsor a choir?

Yes! You could sponsor your local choir or several choirs in your region. Our choirs are made up entirely of people affected by cancer and have between 40 - 100 members. Speak to our corporate team to find out more. Email corporate@tenovuscancercare.org.uk or call 029 2076 8863.