Meet Mersey - Champion of the Community Choir
Updated: Jul 6
'If I cannot fly, let me sing'
On the 2nd of June the Liverpool Everyman came alive through spirit and song.
Community choirs The Choir with No Name, and our very own PSS Choir Sing! Sing! Sing!, sparkled on stage at the annual Big Gig – a evening which champions the spirit and magic of the community choir through sing-along songs and uplifting performances.
Here you can witness first-hand the spectacular impact singing can have. The way it can build confidence, create friends, boost moods and champion positive mental health.
At the helm was Mersey Wylie, Choir Director and community choir champion who led the two choirs through energetic renditions of songs we all know and love.
Mersey is the burst full of energy every choir needs. She swayed, she sang, she even did the mash potato (not forgetting the twist!), her vibrant presence representing everything a community choir is about - having fun.
Any one of our singers will tell you that Mersey has really sprinkled her music magic here at our PSS Wellbeing Centres. It’s very difficult to encourage someone to find the confidence to sing, especially if they have been told all their lives they can’t. Mersey works with our choir group Sing! Sing! Sing! at the Dutch Barn on a weekly basis, giving friendly and warm encouragement to prove to the world - and yourself! - that everybody has an ability to sing.
Music has always been a passion for Mersey, as a determined little child Mersey took
advantage of the free school programmes to learn the flute at the age of six. Mersey then switched to the saxophone during her high school years and then started to pursue singing after University. Mersey found that it was singing which helped her connect to her community when she moved from Australia back to the UK.
Mersey said: “I've always been part of choirs but joining Sense of Sound Singers was a huge turning point for me when I first moved to Liverpool, as it gave me so many opportunities and incredible friendships.
“It helped my already growing passion for choirs and the power of music to unite people, create community and express emotions and creativity.”
Experiencing the benefits of a community choir herself Mersey was the perfect person to champion the cause.
Mersey said: “I am so passionate about the transformational effects that music can have which is why I love working with community groups so much.
“I know how much being in choirs has helped me and I know how much of a lift I get from leading these groups every week and connecting with our members. I love seeing people grow in confidence, make friends, support each other, achieve things they didn't know they could. And I love hearing that amazing sound! There's nothing I love more than a really good harmony - it's magic!”
With a lived experience of mental health Mersey can wholly appreciate what singing can do for your wellbeing, seeing it as a way of processing and expressing emotion.
“Singing and creating music are such integral parts of myself that I don't know who I am without them,” Mersey said.
“I'm very open about my relationship with my own mental health and find that music is such an important part of being able to navigate that for me. Writing music helps me process emotions and situations, singing helps me feel freer, and making music with others helps me feel connected and less alone.”
Sing! Sing! Sing! attend the Dutch Barn, Garston, every Thursday afternoon at 2.15pm. They are a friendly bunch where everyone is welcome to come along and feel liberated by singing their heart out.
Mersey tells us what we can expect from your regular Sing! Sing! Sing! session.
“I would hope people could expect a very welcoming environment where they are completely free to be themselves and come as they are that day.” Mersey said.
“They can expect lots of fun and energy, a mixed bag of songs, a bit of silliness and a really supportive group.”
For those of you that don’t feel like you can sing or feel a tad shy Mersey reassures that her singing groups is free from all pressure and expectations. This is a group which is perfect for people wishing to give singing a go.
Mersey said: “I would say that almost everyone has felt that way coming into the group so everyone is very understanding. My promise is that I'll never make you do something you don't want to do. I'll lead and I'll encourage but if you want to come and just watch one time, that's fine too.
“If you like to sing but aren't confident enough to do it in front of people, choirs and singing groups are perfect as you always have other voices to hide behind!”
Anyone under our PSS Wellbeing service is welcome to Sing! Sing! Sing! if you’d like to attend simply give us a call on 0151 708 0415 or email email@example.com
Sing! Sing! Sing! is on every Thursday at the Dutch Barn, Garston at 2.15pm.