Local law firm Shoosmiths is sponsoring a concert performance by the Singing4Breathing choir on Saturday 27 April 2019 at the Cripps Hall Theatre, Northampton School for Boys in Billing Road.
What makes Singing4Breathing different from any other choral group is the fact that each choir member suffers from respiratory illness and most have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Singing4Breathing was founded by occupational therapist James Wyatt in 2015. Sessions are conducted by Chris Startup, a musician and practitioner in singing for lung health, who teaches all the Singing4Breathing groups in the Northamptonshire area.
Choir member Maria Selby (65) was diagnosed with COPD several years ago. Maria required a double lung transplant and regularly attends Papworth hospital. She reports that staff are astonished at the improvement in her lung capacity and overall health, which she attributes to the breathing exercises that from part of the choir’s routine.
Sharine Burgess, a Shoosmiths lawyer specialising in serious injury and illness claims has worked closely with Singing4Breathing in organising this event:
“Shoosmiths is delighted to be involved with such an inspiring group of people. The concert is an opportunity for them to showcase their considerable talent and personal achievement whilst raising the profile of Singing4Breathing in our community. The choir members get so much out of their participation. The benefits are not just physical, although the improvement in respiratory health among the singers is remarkable, but social and psychological too.”
James Wyatt added:
“We are extremely grateful for all the support Shoosmiths has given us in staging this concert. Singing 4 Breathing is designed to for people with respiratory conditions, bringing something positive to a condition that is so serious, giving a new identity to those who attend through a meaningful occupation such as singing."
COPD is a condition that affects the lungs causing the airways to be damaged and making it harder to breathe. The number of people with COPD is growing and figures recorded by The British Lung Foundation show that there has been a 27% increase in the last ten years. Respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death in England after circulatory conditions and cancer according to figures from the Northamptonshire Health & Wellbeing Board. Corby Clinical Commissioning Group has reported that the rate of COPD in Corby is higher than the average rates across the UK and the town has the highest incidence rates in Northamptonshire – due in part to the heavy industries that employed most of the town’s population. Evidence from academic studies shows that singing can benefit people with COPD and other respiratory conditions by working the diaphragmatic muscle and therefore helping to improve lung function.