Harrogate Theatre Choir’s chair Chris Parkin has written some wonderful words about why we’re working with Mind In Harrogate, and the importance of looking after your mental health during the lockdown.

“He who sings frightens away his ills.”

– Cervantes

In case you are not aware – this week (18th – 24th May 2020) is Mental Health Awareness Week. Harrogate Theatre Choir’s chosen charity for 2020 (which we are extending to include 2021) is Mind in Harrogate District, a local branch of the national charity Mind, that works with and for people with mental health issues. 50% of our (soon to be released) 10th Anniversary CD will go to this amazing charity.

Every one of us at some time or other will be affected by mental health issues – even more so now that we are living through the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic. Family, friends, even you and I are experiencing life in a way that we have never known it before, and perhaps the most difficult issues we are facing are around being locked down and locked in. There are so many questions that go unanswered each day for us all and the stresses of life are much greater – these all impact us and our mental health. This is why HTC chose Mind in Harrogate District as a charity we want to support.

Tina Chamberlain, CEO of Mind in Harrogate District, agrees, “It is really important to try to stay positive and look after your mental health and wellbeing in these challenging times. There are many charities, such as mind in Harrogate, working hard to help support people who need someone to talk to or are in emotional distress. No-one needs to face this alone.”

Many things that we have taken for granted in the past were stopped or severely modified overnight and we are having to find different ways of carryin on. HTC is no different – no longer are we able to meet together for our weekly rehearsals. However, singing is an intrinsic part of each of us and so HTC lives on. Through the magic of the online platform Zoom we have found a new way to carry on ‘meeting’ together and singing –  it is the singing that is helping to keep us going as a choir and as individuals!

To quote the American singer, television personality, actor, politician, and activist, Clay Holmes (I know, I’d not heard of him either until I found the quote!) “A song can be more than words and music… When sung with soul, a song carries you to another world, to a place where – no matter how much pain you feel – you are never alone.”

So we, your friends in HTC invite you to KEEP ON SINGING, in the shower, in the car, on your daily walks and other activities. Feel the beat, feel the music, and sing out loud and strong – it will certainly make a difference to the way you feel inside! 

By Chris Parkin.

HTC’s chair, Chris Parkin!

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