Did you know that UHBW has at least three hospital choirs? (that we know of!)
Sliding Scales (Weston), Above and Beyond Singers (Bristol), and Voice of Hope Wellbeing Gospel Choir (Bristol).
History of hospital choirs
Choirs have been a feature of hospitals for decades. However, their popularity has grown hugely in the last 10 years, helped in part by Gareth Malone’s The Choir TV shows. There is also increasing evidence of the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of group singing, and greater understanding of how choirs can support a sense of community. Nowadays, most hospital trusts have multiple groups that sing a range of different music.
Staff Nurse Sharon Chitty started The Sliding Scales at Weston General Hospital in 2016. The choir brings staff from across the hospital together for the benefit of patients and visitors. Their first performance was a carol concert which proved both popular and moving. The choir has also toured wards, serenading patients with songs from popular musicals such as The Sound of Music and Oklahoma. Although suspended during the pandemic, sliding scales hopes to resume activities as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sliding Scales (Weston)
Led by professional musician Kim Samuels, the choir welcomes people of all faiths or none and unites those affected by serious illnesses – including patients, carers, family members and hospital staff – as well as those who are looking for a place to meet new people and experience the joy of singing.
The Voice of Hope Wellbeing Gospel Choir (Bristol)
This eclectic musical group unites staff, patients and visitors in song to raise funds for Bristol’s city centre hospitals. A chorus of about 25 singers, they enjoy pop, gospel, jazz and classical repertoire.
Above & Beyond Singers (Bristol)
Singing during the pandemic
Because Covid-19 can be transmitted by singing in close proximity, hospital choirs have moved to virtual rehearsals and performances. This does however mean that choirs can share what they are doing more widely and singers can join together across time and distance.
The NHS Chorus-19 is a virtual choir for all NHS staff, spreading positive messages through song. There are two rehearsals on the 11th and 18th December which you can join.
The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir were the Christmas Number 1 in 2015 with ‘A Bridge Over You’.
Here you can see the Great Ormond Street Choir for staff and the families of patients singing a newly recorded song about Better Days,
The Voice of Hope Wellbeing Gospel Choir (Bristol) collaborated with UWE Gospel Choir on Joe Pace's "I Will Bless the Lord at All Times".