A CHOIR made up of stroke victims from Torfaen is set to perform this week at the Congress Theatre in Cwmbran.

Strike a Chord formed in October 2014, and with five original members.The choir, which was one of the first in Wales to be made up of stroke survivors and their families.

It has now grown in size, with between 15 and 25 singers now regularly attending practices.

The group’s musical director, Ali Shone, said the choir had played a key role in improving the confidence of its members and helping them in their recovery, physically and mentally.

“Some of the group have really bad Aphasia, so they have difficulty reading, listening or speaking,” she said.


“It doesn’t affect their singing, though, as that is controlled by another part of the brain.

“All of our members have said it has improved their confidence massively since they have joined.

“One girl joined the choir, and she wasn’t able to whistle after her stroke. I would spend some time with her after our practices and taught her how to be able to whistle again.

“It’s extraordinary the walks of life people have come from and what they have gone through. To be able to bring everyone together though this unique choir is amazing.”

The choir was originally set up with the Stroke Association and Head4Arts. It has been entirely self-funded for three years.

“The Congress Theatre have been really good to us over the years,” said Ms Shone. “They have paid for us to appear there and have allowed us to do collections to help keep the choir going.”

The group will be performing at the theatre on Friday, October 4.

The show will begin at 2pm in the Congress Theatre Lounge, and will carry on until 3pm.

There will be tea, coffee and biscuits following the show. There will also be a raffle.

The show will provide entertainment for everybody, according to the musical director.

“It will be a little bit of everything,” she said. “There is some musical theatre, traditional Welsh songs, contemporary pop songs, and of course some Tom Jones.

“We even have some props that we hope we can use.

“Some of the group had never spoken any Welsh before this, the first Welsh they will be singing will be in front of an audience.”

Tickets cost £6, and can be bought online at congresstheatre.co.uk, by calling 01633 868239, or at the box office.

The group is always looking for new members. They practice practise at the White Hut Community Centre on Hollybush Way, Coed Eva, every Thursday from 12.30pm until 1.30pm.