Arts & Culture

Altrincham choir for people living with dementia to release debut album

By David Prior at

An Altrincham-based choir made up of people living with dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke survivors and their carers is to release an album.

The Vibrant Voices has been running for six years and was the brainchild of Neil Hughes, the owner of The Cinnamon Club in Bowdon.

It’s fronted by The Music Place’s charismatic choir leader, Clare Morel, and the project is funded by St Peter’s Church in Hale.

Members of the Vibrant Voices choir

Members of the Vibrant Voices choir

The Vibrant Voices’ album, which has 21 tracks including old classics like Fly Me to the Moon, Singing in the Rain and Bring Me Sunshine, is being launched at the Cinnamon Club next Wednesday, December 14th, with a six-piece live band for company.

There’s a bonus track from choir member Dorothy Townson, who has sung professionally around the world in her younger life.

Clare explained: “I wanted to make a recording of these very special people for many reasons. I wanted them to have something to listen to between sessions but mainly I wanted them to hear how wonderful they are. Singing is such an incredible tonic for everyone to enjoy no matter what challenges life throws at us.”

The choir was originally set up six years ago by Neil Hughes, owner of The Cinnamon Club

The choir was originally set up six years ago by Neil Hughes, owner of The Cinnamon Club

Clare also runs ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions in local hospitals, care homes and community centres.

Lucy Howells, from the Music Place, added: “I used to bring my Mum to the choir for many years before she got too poorly to attend. The choir was such an uplifting experience for her and singing really brought her old spark back, it was her favourite part of the week.”

Neil Hughes, from The Cinnamon Club, said he was inspired to set up the choir by a BBC documentary called The Alzheimer’s Choir.

The choir meets at The Cinnamon Club every Wednesday

The choir meets at The Cinnamon Club every Wednesday

“After seeing how Ted had lost Hilda, only to see her briefly return because of the magic of music and singing, I wanted to start a group in Altrincham,” he said.

“After six years, we are going strong, a huge family of friends gather every Wednesday for two hours of laughter and friendship.”

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The Vibrant Voices choir together at the Cinnamon Club

The Vibrant Voices choir together at the Cinnamon Club