Drum roll please! And let’s hear it for The Voice Squad – our new workplace choirs scheme which aims to improve mental well-being, reduce stress and boost productivity.
Off the back of a pilot project, we’ve launched half-day workplace choir sessions for businesses and organisations in the Coventry area. They can be tailored for between 10 and 300 people, and can take place anywhere from the office to the factory floor. They are fun and friendly, and absolutely no musical experience is needed.
Through a 12-week pilot project, supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust’s Great Place Scheme and Arts Council England, we established workplace choirs at four of Coventry’s biggest employers: Coventry City Council, the University of Warwick, Coventry University and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. The four newly-formed choirs rehearsed through the summer with our skilled professionals and were joined by the Coventry Teachers’ Choir for The Voice Squad Big Sing, a celebratory event at the city’s Albany Theatre, where they wowed the audience with performances of hit songs and a medley by Coventry band The Specials, arranged by Patrick Stockbridge.
Jacqui Ibbotson, of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “The Voice Squad is a great way of bringing people together in a workplace to create healthier, happy environments. It’s one of our key aims to make culture as accessible as possible and bringing this pilot project to people’s work is a great way of getting them involved as they are singing popular hits that are well known to a wider audience.”
Singers involved in the pilot project said: “it has become the highlight of my week “, “it’s enabled me to meet others from around the University who I might never have met”, “the music never fails to make me smile, relax and forget the stresses and strains of work and life for a short while” and “the people in the office notice when the choir crew are back as we really help boost the energy levels in our office”.
Christopher Monks, Artistic Director of Armonico Consort said: “A workplace choir has so many benefits for the individuals and business alike and the feedback about the positive effects on mental well-being and increased productivity has been considerable. Our half-day workshops are a superb taster, they’re great fun, break down barriers and build confidence, and you’d be amazed at what we can achieve in just one afternoon! Interestingly, those who enjoy it most are those who say they can’t sing …”