Created in 2021 under the name Sing Out Strong Choir, Barry, The MemoPhonics has re-established itself in 2023 in its new identity as the resident choir of the Memo, the creative and cultural centre of Barry.
As a choir we believe in sharing the joy and inclusivity of creating music, demonstrating that singing can break down barriers, increase confidence, improve mental health and wellbeing and most importantly make everyone happy. Something of such value during the current challenges we face.
No musical experience is required to be a part of our friendly group and we sing an eclectic range of music from folk, gospel, traditional, musical, pop, rock, jazz and classical. All taught by ear from the piano by our enthusiastic Leader, Claire.
“I wanted to be more social and do something that would improve my mental health whilst dealing with my Chronic Pain Situation! Choir has done so much more for me than I could have expected.” Nicola
“We enjoy the relaxed, no pressure atmosphere created by Claire, but she still encourages you to do your best, and we still manage to create a lovely sound. The group are fun and there is usually much laughter during the evening.” Lyn & Dave
This event is supported with funding from Arts Council of Wales: Create fund – Diolch!
Claire Watkins, Leader of The MemoPhonics, is a professional opera singer, musician, workshop leader and animateur based in the Vale of Glamorgan. Having trained at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University, she has over 25 years musical experience both on and off the stage.
Claire has performed many roles across main stages with UK opera companies and her colourful musical experiences have taken her to many parts of the world, performing globally alongside those of other nationalities, all united by singing. She brings a vast knowledge, professionalism, encouragement and strong work ethic which she gladly shares with those she works with. Claire is equally at home on the stage as in the classroom, sharing her joy of performing and her deep love of music with people of all ages, teaching music to early years children in SEND and mainstream schools or to retired people.
A big part of Claire’s personality and talent is caring for and sharing with others her unique gift of music. As a fervent believer that singing, making and sharing music with others is integral to the management of mental health and wellbeing.
Claire, together with the Memo, established the MemoPhonics with the idea that a weekly, inclusive singing group would benefit the community and that taking part in musical activities can build confidence, self esteem and emotional and physical wellbeing, especially in a post-lockdown world.