Declan Costello leads Covid study that hopes to declare singing safe

Posted on: 29 July 2020

Declan Costello Study (Photo Credit: Christian Sinibaldi/The Guardian)

Photo Credit: Christian Sinibaldi/The Guardian

Declan Costello, former Choral Scholar at St John's (1991-94) is leading a pioneering study that aims to establish the risks of singing and playing woodwind and brass instruments, in the hope that this will help musicians to navigate their way back to performing live once more.

Declan has established himself as an ear, nose and throat surgeon, specialising in voice disorders. He is working together with aerosol specialist Jonathan Reid and other colleagues on the Covid study, which has been funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and sponsored by Public Health England. The research aims to provide a peer-reviewed publication to inform government policy on the future of live performances.

We are also pleased to hear that – prior to lockdown – Declan found the time to take part in plenty of singing alongside his medical career. Speaking to Charlotte Higgins of The Guardian, he said "I myself would dearly love to be able to sing again, but in a safe way.' We very much hope that this will soon be possible for Declan and for all musicians who are longing to perform together once more.

Read more on Declan's study in the following publications:

"Sing into the funnel please: inside the Covid-19 lab hoping to declare singing safe" by Charlotte Higgins The Guardian 

"Is it safe to sing yet?" by David Sillito BBC News

"The Science for restarting live performance" by David Karlin bachtrack

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