MANDURAH and other regional towns are enjoying a choral singing renaissance, according to choral educator and accompanist Marilyn Phillips.
Phillips believes it is due to people living longer and recognising the health and wellbeing benefits of choral and group singing for older people.
While the main surge is from people aged over 50, she believes choral education in schools could provide similar benefits for younger people.
Phillips will speak at a free public concert celebrating Mandurah City Choral Society’s 25th anniversary in the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre foyer later this month.
She said Mandurah City Choral Society was to be congratulated for bringing choral music to the Mandurah community and for the high standard achieved under musical director Christopher Ryland.
“There is a huge swell in the popularity of choral singing in regional towns,’’ she said. “Choral singing is a great team activity and tremendous therapy.
“Singing involves many physical requirements.
“You have to breathe properly, think about your individual tune and think about your words, all at the same time.
“All this activity stimulates the endorphins and really gets you going; a great mental and physical work-out.”
Born in Wales and following a background as a piano accompanist for choirs in major concert halls in the UK and Europe, Phillips was appointed head of music with the West Australian Opera, elected an associate of the Royal Academy of Music, nominated WA Citizen of the Year and in 2000 awarded the Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal for services to Australian Opera.
Under her direction between 2006 and 2013, the WA Symphony Orchestra achieved growing national and international acclaim.
Phillips continues to broadcast on ABC Classic FM.
The free public concert is on Sunday, May 15 at 3.30pm.
All past choir members have been invited.