The choir was started by Sue in 2014 and 75% of the current members have been with the choir from the start. We have always sung throughout the year, with only a week or two's break between 'terms' every 10 - 12 weeks.
Each year we sing as part of the Festive Lighting Up Parade at the start of December and at other festive events throughout the month. We end the year with a Christmas Party where there is always an abundance of sparkly lights, excellent company, music and wine, singers and song. Not to be missed is the adult 'pass the parcel', secret Santa and a quiz.
At the end of the winter term (around the end of March) we like to have a session in a local recording studio to record some of the songs we have learned - purely so that we can all hear how we sound.
At the end of the spring/summer term (early August) we finish with a Fish & Chip evening, and at the end of the summer/autumn term (late September) we finish with a TakeAway evening.
We have been asked to sing at many community events during the summer season, both in our town and a little further afield at village fetes and country fairs.
There has been much in the media recently about the benefits of singing on both mental and physical health, and many of our members are happy to share just how much being in the choir and singing together every week has meant, and continues to mean, to them. From relieving the pain of chronic rheumatoid arthritis to lifting low mood, from making new friends having recently moved to the area to easing the symptoms of asthma through better breathing.
Joining a choir may never have been top of your priority list, but once you have you'll wonder why you didn't try it before . . . and I can guarantee that you will always leave with a smile on your face and feeling better than you did when you arrived!
Additional Info for Choristers
Sue is a Natural Voice Practitioner, and all your learning will be done by ear so you don't need to read music
We meet every Thursday evening at 7pm for a cuppa, a biccie and a chat.
Singing from 7.00 - 9.15pm.
£5 per session includes all refreshments
To be welcoming and non-judgmental of all those who come along to sing
To counteract previous experiences of criticism and judgment regarding singing ability by providing a suitable repertoire and a supportive learning environment where confidence in singing together can grow
To teach all songs in a traditional way - by ear - to actively include those who cannot read music
To respect and acknowledge all sources and songwriters, and take care to set songs in their historical and cultural context
To include appropriate physical and vocal warm-ups to facilitate vocal health, confidence and fun
To avoid technical language and musical jargon
To provide an accessible and inclusive opportunity for the people living in and around Gillingham to come together and sing regularly
To form a choir of local people who can learn to use their individual voices to sing together as a community
To actively encourage the choir to share what they have learned at local community events and with those who are being care for in residential homes in the area
To provide a social resource where choir members can have the opportunity to get to know one another away from singing