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Date Posted: 27-06-2019

One of the few dedicated Choirs in the country for people living with and beyond cancer has twice the reason for celebration this week! Bolton Cancer Voices is marking both its seventh Birthday and the appointment of a new choral leader following an extensive search to secure a replacement for Clive Rushworth, who leaves after seven wonderful, melodious years with the Choir, which has gone from strength to strength under his direction.

The nearly forty-strong, mixed voice Choir was established by Karen Elliott at a time when the therapeutic benefits of singing in a Choir were not widely recognised. The Choir offers an unusual form of support for those going through treatment, moving forward following completion of treatment or living with cancer as a chronic condition, and members have reported favourable effects such as improved breathing, increased energy levels, a more positive outlook and an increased sense of well-being: but it’s their unquestionable love of singing or the desire to give it a try that attracts new members to their ranks. Members are passionate about singing and rehearsals are an important part of their weekly routine, when the focus is on the music they make together plus forthcoming appearances and choral activities.

From their first appearance on the steps of Bolton Town Hall in a massed Choir celebrating the launch of the Bolton 2012 Games to one of their most recent in the world renowned Royal Albert Hall, London,Clive Rushworth has guided them through some amazing choral journeys, affording members many unforgettable experiences.

Clive hands over his treasured role of Musical Director to Helene Collins, who will take up her baton on 1st July. Helene and Karen first crossed paths many years ago when they were both associated with Bolton Catholic Musical and Choral Society and were recently reconnected by a mutual acquaintance, who knew of the Choir’s search. Having been involved in amateur dramatics for a number of years, Helene’s passion had to take a back seat to her increasing work commitments but she now feels ready to step into this exciting role and is looking forward to once again sharing her love of music and singing.

Karen Elliott, Founder and Chair said: –

‘We are delighted to welcome Helene to the Choir and look forward to sharing many wonderful choral adventures together. Already she’s got involved and been along to a couple of our workshops. Over the coming months we’ll get to know each other, as we prepare for our popular annual ‘Jingle Bell Sing-A-Long’ concert in the Victoria Hall, Bolton; on Saturday 7th December.

Clive laid strong foundations for the Choir; under his professional guidance we have grown both in technical ability and self-belief. We need to maintain this momentum and continue to inspire, challenge and develop; ensuring we’re the best we can be and that the next chapter of our story is as exciting and rewarding as these inaugural years have been. We have every confidence that Helene will deliver on this and anticipate great times ahead. We hope she will be very happy in her new role.

We’d like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in the position of Musical Director and all those individuals and the media who so kindly helped publicise our search.’

You can read more about the Choir on their Facebook page. Anyone interested in joining Bolton Cancer Voices should contact Karen on 01204 595562 / 07773 164235.