Northampton singers with lung disease bring the house down in first concert
A concert performance by the Singing4Breathing choir played to a packed house for the first time on Saturday.
The concert was performed entirely by singers who suffers from respiratory illness and have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). People who suffer from COPD are often affected by breathlessness and long-term lung damage. The group meets every Wednesday at Parklands Community Centre where singers practice their harmony work and breathing exercises, which in turn, increase their lung capacity through song. Singing has really helped the members to individually sing and speak for longer periods of time and has improved their lung function. Singing4Breathing was founded by occupational therapist James Wyatt in 2015 and on Saturday night the group performed their first concert at the Cripps Hall Theatre at Northampton School for Boys. The concert was sponsored and supported by Northamton law firm, Shoosmiths. James said: “We are extremely grateful for all the support Shoosmiths has given us in staging this first Singing4Breathing concert in 2019. "Singing is a joyful and uplifting experience. It generates a sense of positive mood to counteract the stress or anxiety those who suffer from COPD and other respiratory conditions often experience. "Above all though, as the concert showed, singing is simply great fun.” Sessions are conducted by Chris Startup, a musician and practitioner in singing for lung health, who teaches all the Singing4Breathing groups in the Northamptonshire area. Sharine Burgess, a lawyer specialising in serious injury and illness claims has worked closely with Singing4Breathing in organising this event and joined James Wyatt and Chris Startup in thanking the 400-strong audience and choir members at the end of the performance. Sharine said: “Shoosmiths was delighted to be involved with such an inspiring group of people. "The concert was an opportunity for them to showcase their considerable talent and personal achievement whilst raising the profile of Singing4Breathing in our community. "The breathing exercises that form part of the choir’s routine do greatly improve respiratory health among the singers, but there are clearly social and psychological benefits too.”