Singers brought together by happiness research to take to the stage

Media Relations Team, 22 May 2024

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A choir, dressed in black, singing

Around 400 people who signed up to the Sing for Happiness research project, will perform in front of a live audience at The Bristol Beacon on Saturday 22 June.

The event is the grand finale of ground-breaking research exploring the links between singing and wellbeing. The project, run by St George’s Bristol and UWE Bristol, is the first large scale research of its kind.

Since launching in Spring 2024, hundreds of people from Bristol and the surrounding area have been attending a series of in-person sessions at St George’s Bristol, with more joining remotely online.

The sessions have been run by experienced local choir leaders, with the hundreds of participants learning popular songs as well as completing surveys noting the effect that singing has had on their mood.

Notably, the project has attracted many participants who have little or no experience of flexing their vocal chords: 60% of those taking part are not currently involved in singing, a third of have never sung before as adults, and many were not confident they could sing at all. St George’s have also been working with partners across Bristol to provide subsidised access to Sing for Happiness, including the Good Grief Project, Rising Voices, Age UK, and Hand in Hand.

Tickets for the 22 June performance are £5 (which helps to cover the cost of facilitating the project performance), available via

The initial results of the Sing for Happiness research will be released later in 2024 and it’s hoped they will provide data on how singing can help in health and wellbeing contexts such as social prescribing. Early results suggest that many people feel much less tired and a lot more relaxed and energised after sessions.

Kat Branch, Head of UWE Bristol’s Centre for Music and research lead, said:

“No research has been done on this scale before, and we’re really pleased to be collaborating with St George’s who have fantastic links in the Bristol community to make this happen. It’s exciting to be introducing so many participants to the experience of group singing for the first time. I’m looking forward to hearing their final performance and exploring whether the project has had a positive effect on their wellbeing.”

Samir Savant, Chief Executive of St George’s Bristol, said:

“It’s brilliant to be working with UWE Bristol to discover more about the link between singing and wellbeing. We’re looking forward to seeing the Sing for Happiness project in action on 22 June, and to future versions of the project as well. The benefits of singing can’t be understated, and accessibility has been a driving factor of participation in Sing for Happiness – if you can speak, you can sing!”

Ben England, musical director of the Bristol-based, has been convening online sessions during the project. Ben said:

“The physical and mental health benefits of singing are huge and are tangible for anyone who has sung in a choir before, but this wonderful project will bring academic rigour and evidence to support what we all know in our hearts - singing is really, really good for you.”

This is the third large-scale, mass-participation singing project St George’s Bristol has run in recent years as part of its annual Festival of Voice. Other projects included Sing for the King at Bristol Cathedral, with hundreds of singers marking the 2023 coronation of King Charles III, and a series of flash-mob choirs singing Handel’s ‘Messiah’ around Bristol in 2022.

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