Horsham and Mid Sussex people’s lives ‘changed through music’

People in Horsham and Mid Sussex living with Parkinsons and the disabling effects of strokes are having their lives changed through music.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:06 pm
Members of the PS choir

It’s all thanks to a talented young musician who has formed a choir made up of Horsham and Mid Sussex members of Parkinsinson’s UK, The Cuckfield Stroke Communication Group and local people suffering brain injuries.

And they have brought out a groundbreaking Christmas single called It’s Christmas After All.

It’s the brainchild of musician Madeline Castrey, the youngest ever degree student at The London College of Music.

The choir is called P.S. - “Parkinson’s and Stroke and to prove that there is much more to say,” says Madeline.

“I have written an original Christmas song which has been performed by these wonderful individuals who struggle everyday with severe symptoms of Parkinson’s and aphasia affecting speech and communication - yet, remarkably, singing and the new vocal techniques I have created have been shown to improve their physical conditions.

“I hope that this single will raise funds and awareness, leverage further research and ultimately bring joy and hope at this time of year which can be difficult for many.”

Madeline first began using music to change lives after a friend was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

She became interested in the connection between music and improved motor function and, inspired by her training as a professional classical and jazz singer, began to create new vocal techniques that would support therapy and improve conditions.

Now completing her PhD, 24-year-old Madeline overcame serious illness herself when she developed an immune condition that affected all of her skin.

“Fortunately, I made a full recovery and it was this that started my interest in fundraising for those less fortunate.

“I wanted to put my musical experience to good use and began hosting events and forming ensembles to raise funds for various charities.

“To date I have raised over £65,000 and was honoured with a Princess Diana Award.”