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2.8 million Brits sing in choirs

by Aaron James

The study, for the Royal Voluntary Service, found more than half of over-16s enjoy singing, while almost two-thirds said a specific love of music inspired them to join their local singing group.

TV shows like The X Factor and The Voice spurred on around a fifth to get involved with a choir.

Maxine Brooks, from Birmingham Community Gospel Choir, won the Songs of Praise award for Best Gospel Choir in 2015.

She told Premier's News Hour: "Music is of the heart. It's a way of expression and you're joined by other voices which is probably the great pull for choirs, the social aspect.

"You're singing because of your faith. Certainly I can testify about the gospel choirs, we're singing because we just want to bring a higher praise to The Lord.

"You might be the front singer for this song, but you need the support of the whole voice of the choir because that's what makes it unique.

"There are many songs that are locked in your mind, songs that remind you of your youth or other important events in your life, and if somebody can just trigger off that mechanism in somebody with dementia, they can have a moment where they can actually go back and think 'I remember that song' and sing along. It's very powerful."

Listen to Premier's Marcus Jones speaking to Maxine Brooks on the News Hour:

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