Learning Disabilities & Autism Real Lives

Staying gleeful on Friday nights

Each month we feature an inspirational individual or team who overcome barriers to make a real difference in their communities.  This month we feature The Atmosphere Glee Choir who overcame the challenges of the pandemic to continue to support one another through singing, and earned themselves a place on the  Dimensions Coronavirus Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List.

 Introducing…The Atmosphere Glee Choir

Before writing this story I invited myself along to one of the Atmosphere Glee Choir’s Zoom sessions. Despite the intruder, they were extremely welcoming and were just the pick me up I needed on a cold, dreary Friday night.

The Atmosphere Glee Choir usually meet in person – they practice together and sing at events across Nottinghamshire. They are a family and a global pandemic can’t stop them from singing together.

This was clear when I joined their session. That week’s theme? Musicals! Not my speciality, but Angela (the host) put the words on her screen and with our mics muted we followed her lead and belted them out.

As a non-singer (I haven’t been in a choir since I was at first school, and even then I was relegated to the back) I was relieved that my mic was muted. But I did wonder how this would affect the session. Would it feel barren and empty? Absolutely not!

While the choir were following the words on the screen and singing to the backing music, I was looking at their video streams. And they were they going for it! The muting of the mics was simply another way of making it inclusive for everyone.

But this didn’t mean I didn’t hear any of them sing. In person, they would have solos and take the lead. On Zoom, they unmuted their mics and picked these parts back up.

Their enthusiasm was clear online, it must be electric in person!

During ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman, Jenny was on mic singing her solo and Nadia chipped in with her solo in ‘Sister Suffragette’. These were the more familiar songs.

As an amateur, I mumbled and jumbled my way through ‘Do Rai Me’ and ‘Edelweiss’; impressed by the members professionally singing along.

Before long, it was time to end the session and say our goodbyes. Rather wonderfully, we finished with a rendition of ‘She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain’ where members wrote their own verses.

Meet the members

Jessie Carter Kay | Nadia Pastore | Claire Swain | Jenny Gray | Claire Mowberry | Nicola Mowberry | Nicola Cousins | Tom Harry Bosanquet | William Haynes | Alex Hopkinson | Victoria Barnett | Daniel Hogan | Daniel Gostlow | Abigail | Clare Crawford | Eleanor Pillar | Lucy Carnell

The Coronavirus Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List is produced by Dimensions in partnership with Learning Disability England and VODG. It is an adapted version of the annual Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List.

Visit dimensions-uk.org/covidleaderslist and use #CovidLeadersList to meet all the Leaders.

Follow @DimensionsUK and #CovidLeadersList to stay up to date.

The 2021 Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List

On 3rd December Dimensions, LDE and VODG will announce the winners of the Leaders’ List 2021. Follow @DimensionsUK and #LDALeadersList to stay up to date and meet the new Leaders.

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