A MUSIC student is holding the key for a community choir.
Former financier Emily Blyth, now a music student, is taking a lead role at a community choir dedicated to mature singers.
After the financial crash of 2008, the 30-year-old made a life-changing decision to swap the world of numbers and figures and sign up to a community music degree at the University of Sunderland.
Now, in her second year, she has become a project musician on the Silver Programme at Sage Gateshead.
Emily will be teaching the Silver Singers, aimed at people aged over 50, on a weekly basis as well as finishing her university course and performing in her folk band Summer Tumblers, from Sunderland.
Emily said: “It’s unbelievably exciting to have this opportunity to work with the Silver Programme as part of my course.
“I’ve been working with them as a volunteer since last September and it’s such a great experience.
“I can now say I’m going to work for something I love doing.
“It will be nerve wracking being by myself to begin with, but I’ve had great support ever since I have been involved in the course, I know I’m ready and I can fulfil my potential.”
Silver Singing groups take place in locations across the North East of England.
The groups regularly come together for a Big Sing event and the material is a mix of world music, popular songs, folk songs, spirituals, Geordie songs, encompassing anything from Cole Porter to Annie Lennox.
Emily, who has been playing music and a variety of instruments since she was young, including piano, flute, recorder and ukulele as well as singing, said: “I’m ecstatic that I can now make an income working in music.
“After so many years of working in a job just because it paid the bills, this degree has given me the chance to make a living doing the job of my dreams - being a musician. It’s a wonderful feeling.”