A college lecturer who runs three choirs is gearing up for an extremely busy year, after announcing that she is preparing for concerts in support of WaterAid and the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society Cymru!

Sara Brown, who is the centre coordinator for Coleg Llandrillo's Abergele campus, is in the process of organising a concert and ceilidh event for WaterAid on 11 May to celebrate the 15th anniversary of her forming the Abergele-based choir, 'Coastal Voices'.

Musical director Sara, volunteers for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, and runs a choir - 'aMaSing' - for people living with, or affected by, MS within the North Wales region. She is also organising a big awareness-raising concert with MS Cymru on Saturday 6 July at St Asaph Cathedral.

Sara has spent 12 years at Abergele College, and along with her coordinator role, she is a programme leader and lecturer on the Access to Higher Education course and also teaches on the Medical Administration courses.

Relating to her choral duties, Sara both selects the material and teaches choir members the songs as well as conducting the choirs in performance. She is a member of the Natural Voice Network, whose ethos is inclusivity and accessibility, so all songs are taught by ear. Sara directs three choirs: Coastal Voices, the MS choir 'aMaSing' and Bangor Community Choir.

The repertoire includes world music from Africa and Eastern Europe, with pop music and of course Welsh language music as well. Sara has been to South Africa, Georgia and France to learn songs and bring them back to North Wales.

She started her singing journey in 2000 after going along to a one-day workshop with friends.

It was a magical, fantastic experience,

said Sara.

So much so, we all carried on learning songs and organising other workshops.

There is strong scientific evidence that singing is very good for your mental health, it releases endorphins (feel good chemicals) and lowers levels of your stress hormones too. It's also great at creating a feeling of belonging and a sense of community. In these difficult times, we are breaking down barriers; it is definitely a team-building experience. Every voice matters, especially as there are no solos. It is all acapella and lovely close harmonies; no musical accompaniment, just voices,

added Sara.

Sara's highlight in 2018, saw her choristers involved in a large concert at Bodnant Garden to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage (thanks to the efforts of the suffragette movement, some women secured the right to vote on 6 February 1918).

For more information, or to join one of the choirs, contact Sara at sarasings@ymail.com

To find out more about our courses at Abergele College, call the college's Learner Services team on

01492 542 338.

Email: enquiries.llandrillo@gllm.ac.uk

Web: www.gllm.ac.uk