Tuneless Choir to give vocal 'support' at Great North Run in South Shields

A choir with a difference will ‘entertain’ the crowds at the Great North Run as runners reach the final mile in South Shields.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Monday, 9th September 2019, 4:15 pm
The Tuneless Choir will live up to its name and reputation at the 12-mile stage at the Great North Run.

The Newcastle branch of the Tuneless Choir will perform in support of the mental health charity Mind at the event on September 8.

With competitors reaching exhaustion point with just a mile to go, the idea of listening to a self-titled tuneless choir may seem daunting. But organisers promise they will bring smiles.

The name of the choir is not ironic. It is one of 32 such organisations in England and Wales, who meet for the sheer joy of singing, as opposed to displaying any sort of musical talent.

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Members are under no illusions about their melodic shortcomings and enjoy nothing more than belting out classic songs with glorious abandon.

Ann Marie Nicol, known as Minty, is franchise manager for the choir.

She said: “Tuneless Choirs are for those who lack the ability, confidence or practice to sing in tune … and join with others to sing anyway!

“As part of the Great North Run this Sunday we will be singing like no one is listening at the Mind Cheer Bus at mile 12, to help raise funds for our official charity.

The group considers this fair warning.

Minty added: “Singing, especially in a group, increases levels of our ‘happy’ endorphin hormone and in turn helps to reduce stress levels.

“If you can sing in the car or sing in the shower you will be most welcome to join our choir, who come together to enjoy singing without fear of being judged. We sing a real mix of songs from across the decades and across the genres. There really is something for everyone.

“We have had people come in to listen and be moved to tears. We did a version of Thank You For the Music during one of our regular sessions. A woman was sitting at the back and loved it. She was very moved because it was sung with total freedom.”

Minty also feels athletes could benefit from the choir’s efforts, adding: “We could spur them on; so they can get away from us quicker or just give them something to smile about.”