Award-winning choir have Christmas songs on their mind

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A choir which benefits from – and enjoys – their performances as much as their audience will be singing out for Christmas next week.

Falkirk District Association for Mental Health (FDAMH) members started the Freedom of Mind choir two years ago following a one-day singing workshop. Now they will be taking their performing skills to the Sanctuary in Falkirk’s Trinity Church on Tuesday, December 19, for a Christmas concert.

Emily Stewart, of FDAMH, said: “The choir was vastly popular and, with our musical director Kim Edgar leading the way, it helped the group develop skills a lot of them didn’t know they had.”

Since those early days the group has continued to develop, with the original 16 members growing into a fully formed choir of 30 people with confidence in their ability to perform at any venue to entertain people from all walks of life.

Emily said: “We have now gained a volunteer and musician Mariot Dallas who supports and leads the choir along with Kim. The choir has enjoyed performing at events such as The Scottish Mental Health Arts festival, the Tryst Festival and in various care homes and hospices throughout Falkirk this year

“It achieved a national award for Highly Commended Newcomer from Scotland Sings last year and last week performed to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood for the Royal Bank of Scotland Foundation.”

The Freedom of Mind Choir is just one of the ways FDAMH aims to empower, educate and enable adults with mental health problems to lead a fulfilling and participative life. The association also provides counselling, drop-in and befriending services to help overcome social isolation and poor mental health.

Singing is thought to a good way of building confidence and helping people relieve stress and – obviously – have a lot of fun.

Emily said: “The idea behind the choir was to boost people’s self-confidence by getting them to sing in public. Singing is good for your breathing and helps you relax. Becoming part of a choir is also a good way of making friends and forming positive relationships.”

The Freedom of Mind members’ voices will start to soar in the Sanctuary from 7pm.

Visit www.fdamh.org.uk or call (01324) 671600 for more information about the choir or to book tickets.