Eclipse Choir on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show with Zoe Ball

Singing for dementia at BBC Music Day on Radio 2

Eclipse Choir took a special group of singers to BBC Radio 2 on Thursday 26th September to sing for BBC Music Day on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. The singers who came have all had experience in their family of dementia and chose a select play list of songs that expressed some of their experiences in that time. They did a marvellous job singing Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson, Wings by Birdy and The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics - all which expressed some of the different emotions of living with and losing a loved one in this way.

Choir director, James Hawkins, explained, "The Living Years is a reminder to clear the air with our loved ones and not leave things too late. Wings is about the power of memory, and how our loved ones remain powerfully with us in this way. And Higher and Higher is a shout out to all those carers our there, who are doing wonderful work."

Our soloists were Theresa McDermott, Miranda Cragg and James Hawkins. James also played piano and accompanying on guitar was Will Cragg.

Also two members of the choir, Tilly and Sue, spoke about their personal experience of dementia and how singing kept them uplifted and in good health. As Jim said, "Singing in a choir is eating 100 bars of chocolate without the calories!"


You can hear the show on our Soundcloud list here or on BBC Sounds. Eclipse Choir members sing about 2:35 into the show.

Thank you and get involved

Thank you to all those who have sent positive feedback, it's a privilege to be able to sing in this way. Thank you to BBC Music Day for the brilliant coverage they give to local community music every year and we encourage anyone to join a community choir as a way to break depression, lift your spirits and find a new lease of life!

Listen here


  1. Just listened to you on radio 2 whilst baking for McMillan coffee morning tomorrow and am going through every emotion the songs are so meaningful and close to my heart, I work in a care home and see the effect on our residents, their families and our carers on an hour by hour basis including how music and singing have a positive effect. A big humble thank you to you all and sorry if some of my cakes are a little salty tomorrow Do you have a cd available? Xxxxx

    • Hi Margaret, thank you so much for your feedback. That’s so lovely to hear. I’ve just spoken with James and he does have a recording to share. Once I have it I will post again on this page. With kindest wishes, Cheryl

  2. I heard you for the first time on Radio 2 and your version of the Living Years made me cry.
    I listened again on the Sound App and I cried all over again.
    Your were so poignant and full of pathos!!
    It would be great if you could record it in that way, very naked just with piano, a bit of acoustic guitar, and voices, I would buy it straight away and play it on repeat…
    Thank you so much to all of you.

    • Hi Pascale, thank you for your lovely comment. We’ve clipped the performance and put it onto Soundcloud and on this page now. I hope you enjoy it.

      Kind regards,

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