A local folk choir known as the “Great Sea Choir” will hold its first concert since the pandemic began on Friday evening at Stoke Damerel Church.
Heg Brignall and Julu Irvine founded the choir in 2019 while living in Bristol. The name ‘Great Sea’ is a nod to the fact that Bristol is by the sea and the choir represents a ‘sea’ of people all coming together.
With the group looking for new recruits, their first outing of the year comes with an added incentive to fundraise for a great cause this holiday season, with the proceeds going to Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. , based in Plymouth.
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Heg said: “All proceeds will go to Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support, which are based in Plymouth. I will be running a choir for the users of the services of this charity as a daytime activity for them, so there is a connection in terms of singing. “
The couple faced obvious challenges in starting their choir in Plymouth, but the conviction, determination and loyalty of their members has brought them to where they are now – and the band are set to host their first gig. since Covid made an unwanted appearance,
“The Great Sea Choir started in Bristol and we restarted it in Plymouth when we moved,” Heg added.
“The Plymouth choir was brand new and we had about eight rehearsals before the pandemic hit.
“We thought it would probably be the end because it was brand new so we didn’t think everyone would be so keen to stay with us during the pandemic, but miraculously they really enjoyed the first eight sessions and stayed with us for online rehearsals.
“We tried to teach as many songs as possible with the idea that when we got back we would have a lot of songs that we knew we could start playing with, and that’s exactly what we managed to do. . “
The group is classified as contemporary, but it wasn’t until Heg joined a Devon-based group that she realized the true potential of what he could become.
She said: “Julu and I have been in choirs and sang from a very young age throughout school and beyond. I sang with a Totnes based choir and they introduced me to the different arrangements of the choirs because I didn’t know the choirs could do that kind of thing like folk music and original songs.
The duo are totally immersed in the teaching and singing aspects of travel as it is a hobby that has played such a pivotal role in their lives, but their all-inclusive group offers so much more than just a workout. for the vocal cords. .
“It’s a total joy and we both get a lot from it,” Heg said. “Having moved from a big city to a rural location, having the choir was wonderful to feel a sense of community around us. Making music is amazing and part of our philosophy is that we don’t audition any of our singers. Anyone can join us and we work on the principle “anyone can do it”.
The event takes place on Friday evening at Stoke Damerel Church. Doors open at 7pm with tickets priced at £ 8 and £ 6 for concessions. All proceeds will go to Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support which are based in Plymouth.
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