Laura disappointed that Local Vocals choir still unable to meet

The founder of a community choir has expressed her disappointment over a Government U-turn on indoor singing restrictions, which has left millions of choir singers unable to perform.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:42 am
Laura Bennett of Local Vocals and other members have been left frustrated by the sudden change in policy

Laura Bennett, creator of Local Vocals, a community of choirs based across St Helens, Wigan, Preston, Chorley and Skelmersdale is hoping the rules are lifted so her choirs can sing together again, following the unexpected change of policy.

More than two million amateur choir members were left bitterly disappointed after a sudden change in Government guidelines meant that indoor singing was no longer permitted under Stage 3 of the Road Map.

Thousands of choirs were prepared to return from May 17, however, that evening, the government updated its guidance, stating that only six people were allowed to sing indoors.

Laura said: “We are all so disappointed that our plans can’t go ahead as we had envisioned, particularly as I have spent the last 15 months delivering choir sessions online.

"It is so frustrating to see pubs packed, theatres opening, gyms full, football fans singing in stadiums, hundreds singing at the darts championship on TV - and yet we’re not allowed a socially distanced, limited capacity, fully risk assessed choir rehearsal.”

Laura has been working with choirs across the North West for 10 years, having previously worked for the national company Rock Choir.

Local Vocals is the latest venture created by the local musician and began in January of this year as an online choir community.

So far, 130 Local Vocals have raised £2,450 for charities, recorded four online arrangements featuring over 200 at-home performances and taken part in over 80 online rehearsals.

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