Cathy Adams

Choral singing makes a healthy heart as well as a happy one

SWEDISH scientists have recently proven choir singers synchronise their heart beats, and that the act of singing in harmony may actually be good for your heart.

As amazing as it sounds, it wasn't a surprise to Northern Rivers-based globetrotting singing coach and musician Chris James.

He recalled experiencing the phenomenon back in 1988 during a singing workshop at the inaugural International Dolphin and Whale Conference.

"It was actually at a very dissonant point in the conference; there were people wanting to go in different directions," Mr James recalled.

"I got everyone to start singing and the barriers just melted. People found it very moving, but it was also very effective at bringing the conference together."

Since that first success, he has worked with people from all walks of life, all over the globe - from doctors, corporate executives and defence force personnel, to primary school kids and environmentalists.

Mr James has mastered the art of bringing any group of people together into what he calls an "instant choir".

During a major gig for the Woodford Folk Festival finale, he led a 700-strong choir and managed to get 15,000-strong crowd to sing in harmony alongside the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, and Indian world music band Dya Singh.

"I was up on this two-storey high platform conducting the whole thing," he said.

Next Thursday July 25 the guitarist, keyboardist and songman will be taking his show to Lismore's Star Court Theatre where he will put on a free concert and singing session for all comers, as part of a promotional tour for his new album.

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