STAND up and sing to support Alzheimer’s WA.
The Perth Symphonic Chorus is preparing for their annual Summer Sing, with the proceeds of this year’s concert going to a cause close to their hearts.
Funding has been cut for the Alzheimer’s WA choir group.
“Everything’s changing in terms of government funding for aged care, and this was one of those changes,” Alzheimer’s WA chief executive Rhonda Parker said.
“Music is great for everybody; there’s so much evidence about singing in choirs helping wellbeing.”
Ms Parker said there are people in the Alzheimer’s WA choir with short term memory loss who are unable to finish a sentence, but can sing in the choir; one choir member described the singing group as the loveliest thing that happens in their week.
There are 34,000 people in WA living with dementia, a number projected to increase rapidly in coming years.
“Music accesses different circuits in the brain, it accesses memories people love to visit emotionally,” she said.
“We know we’ll find a way to continue (the Alzheimer’s WA choir), but the Perth Symphonic Chorus support is very important to us.”
UWA Emeritus Professor and author of Music, Evolution and the Harmony of Souls Alan Harvey is a member of the symphonic chorus, and has written about the impact of music on the brain.
“(The choir) was looking for a possible non-government organisation to donate to, and Alzheimer’s WA has a good link between music and the brain,” he said.
“Music has a direct drive to memory systems, it reduces cortisol and changes oxytocin.”
The Perth Symphonic Choir invites people who love singing – no audition required – to get on board the Summer Sing, Gospel and all that Jazz.
There will be seven rehearsals and the main performance at Winthrop Hall; rehearsals start on Monday, January 22.
Singers and audience members alike can book their spots for the fundraiser at perthsymphonicchorus.com.au.