Have you always yearned to sing, but been told you can’t hold a tune?

Well, now there’s a chance to unleash your inner Pavarotti with Oxford’s Tuneless Choir, where you will be welcomed with open arms and nobody will mind how well or badly you sing.

With the Tuneless Choir, there’s no pressure to turn up every week, no performance to commit to and no tedious note-bashing: just a friendly group of like-minded people singing for the sheer pleasure of it.

“You don’t have to make any effort to prove anything,” says conductor Angela Knapp. “It’s completely unlike any other choir.

“As a classical musician, this is the antithesis of everything I’ve learned or practised. But that doesn’t mean it has less value. It’s completely valuable in a different way. It’s not about music as music, it’s about music as therapy.”

The therapeutic aspect is central to the choir’s philosophy. The first Tuneless Choir launched in Nottingham in January 2016, and there are now twenty Tuneless Choirs the length and breadth of the country, from Edinburgh to Southampton.

Many people join the choirs because they are lonely, stressed or lacking in confidence, or simply because they want to have fun in a non-judgemental, relaxed and supportive environment.

“Singing releases endorphins and that makes people feel happier,” Angela says. “It also does a lot for confidence, especially if you’ve been told you can’t sing. Singing is personal – it’s almost like taking your clothes off in front of others and I think some people feel that they’re revealing themselves, and yet to do that is tremendously liberating.

“The other thing is that laughing is one of the greatest lifts, and this does make you laugh. You make a mistake, and you laugh about it.”

Angela is a trained musician who taught singing for 11 years and ran various music departments, as well as performing in recitals and choirs. She started running the Oxford Tuneless Choir in November 2016, and a year later is delighted with the way the choir has grown.

“I would say that it does what I expected it to do – that is, to get people singing who are not used to it or have been told they can’t. It’s not making music, it’s using music.

“We now have a 100-page songbook with a huge variety of songs from ten decades across different styles. We’re also the only one of the Tuneless Choirs across the country to serve wine in the interval!

“I’m having a huge amount of fun doing this because I’m not rehearsing for anything – it is literally just for the singing.”

The choir meets every Wednesday in Summertown, and Angela starts each session with some vocal exercises before leading the choir in a range of songs with pre-recorded accompaniment. The new term starts tomorrow.

The choir’s motto – which appears on their T-shirts – is “Sing like no one is listening”. In other words, sing like you’re in the shower. Sing because you want to. Sing because nobody will mind if you make a mistake.

“I love it,” Angela says. “I get a terrific buzz out of it. I’m completely immersed in it, and determined to make it work.”

The Tuneless Choir meets at North Oxford Association Community Centre, Diamond Place, Summertown, Oxford, every Wednesday, from January 3.

Contact Angela Knapp on 07711 067402 or oxford@tunelesschoir.com