THE Sunshine Choir, formed with aim of bringing sunshine into the lives of people living with dementia, had an amazing debut performance at Pembroke Castle during the recent Christmas Market.

Conducted by Sam Howley, with dynamic piano accompaniment by Seimon Morris, the choir was joined by Cantabile Singers, who collectively brought the house down with their performance.

The choir, formed in September 2019 by Rosita Roles, with members from two dementia café groups - Musical Memories, Crundale and Music & Memories, Pembroke, has been rehearsing since September, culminating in a stunning performance at the castle.

Roger Bannister, trustee of Pembroke Castle welcomed both choirs saying: “it is wonderful that you are here to sing for us – we are absolutely delighted.”

Rosita Roles, founder of the Sunshine Choir, said: “This event was the first performance of many because we have a clear ambition to help those living with dementia with the gift of music. Scientific evidence has proven that singing brings happiness and wellbeing to anyone living with dementia and the creation of the choir is part of a longer-term vision to bring the community together through song.

“Our intention was to raise awareness of how singing can help those living with dementia but we also raised money for the choir which added to the day.”

Jean Hoy, soloist, added: “The performance was so successful that several of the choristers have enquired when their next booking is - I really enjoyed it because it was a really happy occasion.”

The inspiration for the Sunshine Choir came from a BBC programme where Vicky McClure (Line of Duty fame) formed a dementia choir in Nottingham in order to promote awareness of people living with dementia.