Our Classical Music columnist Liz Leatherdale, founder and owner of Colchester Classics, writes about the joys of singing, along with forthcoming musical events in the Colchester area.

Did you know that singing is good for you? Singing produces ‘feel-good’ endorphins  – eating chocolate does too, but singing is less fattening!

Singing is a great stress reliever and it is very hard to worry and sing simultaneously.

Singing is a great way to work out requiring deep breathing, co-ordination of muscles (facial, diaphragm, chest etc) in response to the sound the ears hear and the mind interprets.

Of all the types of singing it is choral singing that has the greatest effect on us. In addition to the above, as it is a very social event too. Choirs are a great place to meet people and many choral societies have married couples who met over sheet music!

Come Sing the Messiah

Why not pop along to a ‘Come and Sing’ event? They often offer the opportunity to rehearse a large-scale choral work in the afternoon and present a concert in the evening. This month, Saturday 23rd May, the Friends of West Mersea Parish Church and conductor Chris Green are hosting ‘Come Sing the Messiah’. If you would like to join in the choruses, including the rousing ‘Hallelujah!’, one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music, please obtain an application form as soon as possible. Phone 07927 606579 or email admin@fwmpc.org.uk. You can find out more at www.fwmpc.org.uk

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 Come and Sing HMS Pinafore

Witham Choral Society is venturing into the topsy-turvy world of Gilbert & Sullivan by hosting a Come and Sing performance of the much-loved HMS Pinafore on Saturday 30th May. Rehearsal for singers begins at 2.30pm (tickets: £10) with the evening concert at 7pm (tickets: £5) at the Witham Public Hall. Telephone 01621 854621.

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Lexden Choral Society

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and Faure’s Requiem will be coupled together by the Lexden Choral Society on Saturday 13 June, 7.30pm at St Leonard’s Church, Lexden, Colchester (tickets £10) phone 01206 543280.

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Roman River Music Festival

The Roman River Music Festival begins in September 2015 when many musicians will descend on Colchester and the surrounding area to perform. Details of the 2015 event are being carefully guarded until the festival is launched at the Mercury Theatre on Tuesday 19th May with a concert by the internationally acclaimed Brodsky String Quartet. While the quartet is just as at home playing classical music and also collaborating with rock figures such as Bjork and Elvis Costello next Tuesday they will perform music by Beethoven, Zemlinsky and Schubert. Mercury Theatre, Colchester at 8pm. Tickets from £10. Box Office 01206 573948. In 2012 the Brodskys secured an exclusive contract with the CD label Chandos.

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Frinton Festival

This year’s Frinton Festival, presented by Frinton Music (Robert Max, artistic director) and the Barbican Piano Trio, opens on May 23 with a concert featuring local choirs from the Tendring area in a performance of Horovitz’s Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo. Find out about all of the concerts which take place until 26 May at www.frintonfestival.com

If you would like to enjoy the performers and classical pieces mentioned in Liz’s column they can be found at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale