CHANT Productions

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BAE enlists CHANT Productions for workplace choir scheme

As part of its health and wellbeing strategy, BAE Systems has enlisted CHANT Productions to implement a workplace choir scheme.


The two-year programme is designed to prevent people from being affected by ‘health affecting work’ and ‘work affecting health’ issues.

Mike Crompton, head of occupational health at BAE Systems Military Air and Information business said: “We are aware of how work  and the work environment, can affect an employee’s health and how an employee’s health can affect their ability to do their job.  It is clear that learning new skills such as choral singing can give a sense of achievement, new confidence and thereby positively impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.  Opening up creative thinking channels results in improved wellbeing for the individual and productivity for the company. “

An important point about our choir is that it has a mix of all singing abilities – everyone is welcome.  The choir breaks down barriers as there is no hierarchy.  Anyone can get involved from those who work directly building our military jets to senior managers.  It’s therefore been a great opportunity for real collaboration across work boundaries.

A survey of choir participants at the end of the first set of workshops had some clear messages.  Involvement has built focus and confidence, reduced stress and improved health, and left employees invigorated for an afternoon of work.

Sean Ruane, creative director of CHANT Productions said: “The singing is a vehicle to help more serious issues underlying in the workplace, so we promote teamwork and help to break down communications and hierarchical barriers.

“What we are doing with BAE Systems is quite unique. I’d read an article from Professor Mance York, who was a UCLan tutor, about his belonging study, which was based on the educational establishment, but I thought it was relevant to the workplace. So I took that and adapted it to the choir programme and surveyed the choir participants in workplaces.

“It’s all about team building and bonding, taking them out of their comfort zone and on a journey. It’s then transferrable back in to their workplace, where we have reduced absenteeism and the number of stress-related absentees.”


Singer Sean Ruane hopes CHANT will inspire young vocalists

Opera singer Sean Ruane is hoping to inspire a new generation of singers to follow in his his footsteps.

The tenor, who has earned a reputation as the 'voice of sport', has launched CHANT - Communities Harmonising and Nurturing Talent - with Manchester-based business partner Will Woan. The aim of the social enterprise is to engage with young people from deprived areas by teaching them to sing.  Sean hopes CHANT will become a springboard for talented teens who want to go on to perform at opening or closing ceremonies at large sporting events.

Sean, from Rawtenstall, has performed at international football games, Test Match cricket and rugby league finals. He sang the victory songs for the triumphant England cricket team who won the Ashes in 2009, and has worked across Europe.

He said: “I launched CHANT because I saw an opportunity for young people to work in both the music and sporting arenas. Over the years, I have found that I'm the only opera singer performing at these events, and I think we need to bring in new people. Singing isn't always seen as a cool thing to do, especially by teenage boys, but when you involve them in a sporting arena, it becomes cool and they want to become part of it.”

Sean has so far worked with 1,000 students from 120 schools across the UK.

He recently coached students from Greater Manchester who were performing at the Rugby League Challenge Cup semi finals. Students from St Monica’s in Prestwich, All Hallows RC Business & Sports College, Salford, and St Joseph the Worker RC Primary School, Irlam, were mentored by Sean before being given the chance to perform alongside him at the games.

CHANT participants were also invited to perform at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s Truth About Youth festival.

Sean, who is seeking further investment backing for his enterprise, said: “Singing has given me so much in my life, and I want to help inspire young people to get involved, find their voice and make it cool to sing. We have completed six projects so far, and there are several more in the pipeline.

“I’m using my contacts in the sporting world to give young people an opportunity to perform on some of the biggest stages in the country, and I hope to have young people ready in time for the Rugby Wold Cup ”



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