Yvonne has run several Cabaret evenings for MADHURST before and realized just how much singing talent there is in Midhurst.
The choir started out with 30 members, and now has over 70 registered members, both male and female, with an age range ranging from late teens to “very young” 80s.
Yvonne said: “Singing is definitely good for the soul and has been proven to be good for our mental health; being a member of a choir is so much more.
“It’s not just about singing; it is about friendship, community spirit, fun and laughter, and it brings a great sense of belonging to something special.
“New people moving to the area, for example, have found it to be a wonderful way to get to know people.
“Great friendships were made and members going through difficult times found support even when we couldn’t be together. “
In 2018 Yvonne and Jess entered the choir category at the Chichester Festival and were extremely proud to win the category and performed at the end of the festival show.
They then held three sold-out concerts and entered the competition again in 2019, winning three prizes in the choir, ensemble and individual soloist categories.
Midhurst Camera Club captures the beauty of our surroundings
The choir’s activities were halted due to the pandemic.
Yvonne said: “We will be rehearsing safely on February 22, with lots of fresh air in circulation, a mask worn when not singing and lateral limb flow tests before heading to the rehearsal.
“Our goal is to sing together and to please the community; our priority, however, is to keep all of our lovely members safe.
The choir’s song list includes pop rock classics such as Don’t Stop Me Now, One Day Like This, or songs from musicals such as Les Misérables, The Greatest Showman, Lion King, West Side Story and other pieces such as Adiemus sung in an “invented language” and Ava Maria and O Fortuna which are in Latin.
Yvonne said: “Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome. If anyone thinks of it, just come for a no-pressure, no-questions-asked tasting session. No one needs to audition; you don’t. You don’t need to have previous experience or to read music, you just need to want to sing with other people. And have fun. We’ll teach you the rest.
“It’s important to talk about something else, it’s the men. This is a problem for a lot of choirs – I mean their lack. We think one of the reasons men are reluctant to join is because ‘they can get lonely or nervous when coming to sing with a lot of women. Let me reassure them that our current group of men is the most handsome, naughty and disruptive group of men we know – and we love them.I promise we will welcome you with open arms.
“Jess and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tracey our pianist and everyone involved behind the scenes – no organization can function without the unsung heroes and that includes Jan our secretary, Dennis our treasurer, Clare who takes care of our website, and others like Patricia, Dave, Chaz and Megan who come to rehearse early each week to help with the set-up, cleaning the chairs, setting up the equipment, etc. Thank you. “
The choir meets Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. at Midhurst Methodist Church Hall.
Membership costs £ 40 per term (based on the school year) and includes all music. Discounts are offered to couples and anyone in financial difficulty or on benefits.