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Singing is medicine for the soul (and these Asturian doctors know firsthand)

Singing is medicine for the soul (and these Asturian doctors know firsthand)

Julio Domínguez's “Ave María” is performed in the auditorium of the College of Physicians of Asturias. Every Tuesday afternoon, in the Plaza de América, in Oviedo, the event takes place with choral music by a group of amateurs, many of whom are doctors or their relatives. They make up the choir of the Asturias College of Physicians, with only a year and a half of experience and several projects on the horizon.

Cardiologist Ignacio (Tito) Sánchez Posada has been a member of the group from the beginning and was formerly of the Orfeón Principado “Antolín de la Fuente”, the seed of formation, and of the Asturian Center. The retired doctor says that such activities “prevent brain deterioration,” according to experts. Sanchez goes to choir practices and performances with his wife. They're not the only couple in the group. Two others enjoy this hobby together.

The Principado-Coral Orfeón of the College of Physicians of Asturias, directed by Patricia Miriam Martínez, has approximately 70 members. And look for more. “We need serious voices,” says José Villa, head of a group that is overwhelmingly women. “And encourage and integrate more doctors,” he adds. In September 2022, the Asturias College of Physicians joined the ten-entity club with its own choir, says Dr. José Miguel Estefan. With Luis Antonia assuming the presidency, the project that had been long awaited for years was realized.

Sheet music for the song “Paleo”

The doctor confirms that “the atmosphere is very good,” a statement that his colleagues agree with. “We leave here with our batteries fully charged. This is 100% recommended,” says one group member, who has “never sung in a choir before.” Among the new additions is Teresa Fernandez, who this week faced her second rehearsal. “I came and liked the atmosphere,” he says. After passing through the opera choir and the zarzuela, he joined the choir “to sing again” after a while without having done so.

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Leading the charge is Patricia Miriam Martinez, who practices a “very diverse repertoire” to adapt to the different events the group attends. “We achieved all the goals,” says the director of the Principado-Choral at the Asturias College of Physicians. Patricia Miriam Martinez emphasizes that the choice of reference is essential.

Since its founding, the choir has performed in Portugal, on the 125th anniversary of the College of Physicians of Asturias, celebrated in November last year, and on various occasions. In April, they are scheduled to give a concert in Zaragoza, at the Basilica del Pilar, and the following month they will perform in Bravia. In June they will travel to Galicia. For these performances and others that will be added to the choir calendar, members prepare every Tuesday. “And we take our homework home,” says one training member.