A flautist turned choir conductor is setting up a singing group that will focus on “feeling great as well as sounding great”.

Rosie Dow of Diana Road, Walthamstow has over six years’ experience working with ‘wellbeing’ choirs including the Military Wives’ Choir and groups affected by cancer.

She will begin training members of Choir 17 in CentrE17, Church Hill, Walthamstow next month.

Ms Dow, who hails from south Wales, has lived in the area for a year and hopes her choir will help singers forge new friendships while learning a new skill.

“Walthamstow is a very special and diverse place,” said the 34-year-old.

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“This choir is here to bring E17 people together and show the world what we can do, while having a brilliant time.

“After all, if you don’t leave with a smile on your face and a tune stuck in your head then what’s the point?

“There are plenty of budding singers to go around.”

Choir 17, which 20 people have signed up for already, will focus on modern music such as pop, rock and indie.

Although Ms Dow has a vision for the group to perform competitively in the future, she is keeping mum about her long-term plans.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I want us to work towards creating something ambitious and really special in the future,” she said.

The choir is open to both men and women and no previous experience of singing is required.

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While the first three weekly sessions are free, it will cost singers £9 per week to join the choir or £8 per week for advance payments.

Ms Dow is keen to remind people about the benefits of singing in a group particularly for those with mental health problems.

She said: “We now know that group singing improves your physical and mental health. Research has shown choirs reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

“In an increasingly screen-dominated, anonymous world, especially in London, people are looking for activities that help them reconnect with others face to face, to de-stress and focus on just one thing for an hour.

“It is always worth giving it a go. If you don’t try then you will never know.”

The first session will take place on Wednesday September 27 at 7pm.

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