Arria Voices in Cumbernauld Christmas concertLynn Strang of Cumbernauld-based Arria Voices tells us how a 'Keep on Creating' microgrant from Creative Lives helped this singing group hold its first concert and have a warm drink during rehearsals.

"I applied for the microgrant in order to provide a performing opportunity for the singing group that I had just started up, Arria Voices, in September 2022. The Creative Lives microgrant allowed us to put on a Christmas concert with professional musicians. They generously gave of their time and talents, however the travelling expenses we were able to offer meant that we could secure their services.

We were lucky enough to have a local musician home from London during Covid, who could volunteer as an accompanist for the group. David Swan is an extremely talented musician, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has been a wonderful support and friend to the choir. 

The local Boys Brigade troupe was also involved in the concert as well, combining forces for a couple of songs, and singing on their own as well. Our local Tesco (Craigmarloch, Cumbernauld) generously donated some refreshments for the interval.

Hot water urn at Arria VoicesI was also able to purchase a hot water urn and disposable, biodegradable, cups which means the group has been able to add a tea break to our weekly session, members can come along for a hot drink and chat as well as sing!

I had wanted to start up a community choir for a long time. I have met so many people who have told me that they love to sing but have been told in the past that they can’t sing/shouldn’t sing/have to mime/have to stand at the back... I want people to have the same feeling of satisfaction and well-being that I get from singing, especially with others, the joyful, heartfelt, communal expression and togetherness.

I strongly believe that everyone should have the chance to use their voice, to express and to join in with others, regardless of the quality of tone or the exactness of pitch.  I would like people of all ages in my community to experience and benefit from the mental health and physical health benefits that singing can bring. Thank you Creative Lives!"