A talented singer and orchestra leader from Heysham has set up a new choir at St John’s Hospice.
Joanna Jeffreys, the hospice’s finance officer, is delighted to be leading the mixed choir and putting on performances for patients and the public.
The choir’s first public performance was at the hospice’s recent Christmas Fair and it was a great success.
I joined the choir for one of their rehearsals and was impressed by the quality of the vocals and the lively choice of songs. Their rendition of O Holy Night was particularly uplifting.
Joanna, who has worked at the hospice for six years, said she has always been a singer and has conducted orchestras for Morecambe Amateurs. One of the main aims of the choir is to bring together members of staff, volunteers and others who support the hospice.
Joanna said: “I set up the choir for many reasons.
“It is for hospice staff and volunteers to be able to sing together and get to know one another on a social basis. It’s so nice to sing together. We get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
“It increases personal confidence and is a great team-working feeling.
“There is something therapeutic about singing. After a stressful day it is so nice to be able to relax and sing the songs together.”
Joanna said one evening a nurse wheeled a patient out who wanted to listen to the choir: “He said he was impressed and he enjoyed sitting back and relaxing to the music.”
Joanna has been involved with music her entire life. She has played in orchestras, sung in concerts and latterly she has conducted orchestra at The Grand Theatre for Morecambe Amateur and Dramatic Society.
Joanna said the choir is hoping to invest in some uniforms over the next few months and any offers of help in paying for or making uniforms would be gratefully received.
She added: “My aim for next year is to co-ordinate a hospice concert using the talent of the staff and volunteers. Our ideas are endless.”