Group singing is ‘good for your mental health’ says local choir

by Rebecca Ryan
0 comment
DARA choir

A Dalkey choir is encouraging locals who are interested in singing to get involved with their choir, as part of Sing Ireland.

Organisation Sing Ireland is encouraging all those interested in singing, regardless of your age or ability, to get involved with a group this year, which they say is good for your mental health.

Dublin Gazette caught up with the founder of the Dalkey Active Retirement Association (DARA), Vincent Ryan, 78, about his choir which was set up in 2011 and now has 70 members.

The dad-of-two worked in EDB until retirement in 2004, and then he joined DARA.

“At that time DARA organised occasional musical evenings where we sang around the piano. These were attended by 20 to 30 people and most enjoyable.

“After a few years they became less frequent and I missed them. It was then I felt that a choir for retired people with rehearsals in the afternoon would be good.”

In 2011, Vincent enrolled himself into the in the AOIC (now Sing Ireland) on a week-long conducting course.

He then contacted the DARA chairperson about setting up a choir which proved to be very popular with many joining.

Sing Ireland says that studies show that group singing is good for both physical and mental health and Vincent agrees.

“This is confirmed by the large attendance at rehearsals and what each member says the choir means to them.

“They speak about the emotional lift that being a member of the choir has brought.

“Coming together to be part of the choir has given us purpose, enjoyment, musical education and the challenges each piece of music we sing provides.

“Our fans tell us we have improved with each year!”

If you are interested to join the DARA choir there is no audition process to join but you must be a member of DARA.

Member application forms are available from Our Lady’s Hall, Castle Street Dalkey, where rehearsals take place every Wednesday from 3 to 5pm, with a break for tea and coffee.

Related Articles