Boost for Lincolnshire group helping people hit the high notes

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A long running, barber shop chorus who support people to learn to sing, whatever their background or ability, has received one of the first local grants from Care UK’s Wellbeing Foundation.

Each Tuesday up to 40 members of the Harmony Lincs Barbershop Group meet at the Bishop Grosseteste College to sing four-part harmonies. The group formed in 1993 with the aim of making music accessible to men throughout the area.

Member Malcolm Carlisle explains: “We were delighted when Care UK’s Wellbeing Foundation contacted us to say we had been awarded one of its grants to support arts in the community. Music brings great joy to those who make it and those who listen to it. We dislike the idea of musical snobbery and exclusivity so we work to ensure anyone can join in.

“We provide free training and materials for learning parts so that people can practice at home and if anyone genuinely cannot afford a blazer we will endeavour to provide one. No one should miss the joy of performing because of unemployment or illness.”

Age is also no bar to the group – on his retirement from public performances, the eldest member of the group was 91-years-old.

The group has held fundraising performances to support local charities and regularly provides entertainment for residents in the city’s care homes. Malcolm said: “Many people living in care homes have been music lovers all their lives and we feel it is important that, as they can no longer go out to concerts, we take the music to them.”

The Care UK Wellbeing Foundation has donated £250 to the group that will be used to provide members with recordings of their parts to learn, along with sheet music to memorise for performances.

The group’s determination to make music accessible across society made it a natural nominee for the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation. Belinda Moore, group marketing and communication director, explains: “Harmony Lincs Barbershop Group does a fantastic job in promoting wellbeing through singing – not only by giving people the opportunity to perform but by visiting those who love music but who can no longer attended concerts.

“They also do a wonderful job in supporting local charities through their performances and they are a shining example of what we at the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation are trying to achieve.”

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