The Radio Times wrote up their summary of a remarkable weekend at The Royal Albert Hall when 5 of our choir took part in the War Horse performance of the BBC Proms. Read more
For the majority of our choir, this was our first performance of the year and what a great feeling it was to get my choir dress and accessories out of the wardrobe again! I’ve really missed performing but it’s been nice to have a little break after such a busy 2012 with the choir. The venue was St Mary’s Church
in Hadleigh which is the home town for many of our choir ladies. St Mary’s is a beautiful church and looked incredible, especially as it was filled with all the fresh flowers throughout. We couldn’t wait to get up on stage. It was exciting because we were performing with our new MD Birgitta Kenyon and we were eager to perform our new program of songs which included Amazing Grace and three songs from the musicals Pippin, Enchanted and
Godspell. Of course we were very nervous but it helped to see many friendly faces in the audience.
What great applause we got from “All for the best”. It’s such a fun song to sing, but was such a tongue tie when we were learning it! This was a wonderful evening and it felt fabulous to be back on stage singing altogether. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year!
I awoke to grey skies and drizzly rain. Not the start I had hoped for on the day our choir was to be singing at the Suffolk Show! Luckily we were not due to be singing until 4pm so there was hope that the weather would improve; even if it did not, I knew our ladies would be trying to bring some sunshine to the day with our new program of songs.
Many of us drifted to the show at our own pace, arriving often in our dresses and wellies to enjoy what the Suffolk Show had to offer for adults and children alike. My own son loves all the animals and couldn’t wait to be giving the cute little ducklings a cuddle.
Time marched on and our choir gathered in the Military zone beside the iconic Apache helicopter. Last minute changes to outfits were made, makeup applied and warm ups begun. Nerves were kicking in and we were ready to take the stage . A short walk to the Director’s garden brought us to our stage. And what a stage…it must have been the smallest we have had to squeeze on – about 20 ladies and our wonderful MD Birgitta and her keyboard! We were going to have to be up close and personal with one another. All that ceased to matter as soon as we heard the opening bars of our first song and began what we so enjoy doing – singing !
We opened with ‘Stronger Together’, the MWC song that sums up everything our choir is about. Always close to our heart, bringing back fond memories of the day when we recorded the song, and the day we recorded the video for the song in London. The next twenty minutes flew by as we sang our way through our new program of songs, including the evocative ‘Eyes of a Child’ and the upbeat, tongue-twisting ‘All for the best’ from the musical Godspell. Looking into the audience as we sang that I saw many grinning faces and, like Hadleigh, that seemed to get our biggest round of applause. We ended with a song synonymous with military wives choirs across the country, ‘Wherever you are’. It was a fitting finale to our program and one we hoped everyone who heard it enjoyed.
It was so lovely afterwards to hear people thank us for singing and offer us compliments; we would like to thank all of you for supporting us. And for being so hospitable on the day, I would like to offer a big thank you to the ladies who made us tea and supplied extremely yummy cakes as refreshment once we had finished performing.
Hello Everyone, this will be my last post as a member of the Wattisham Military Wives Choir, as after 4 years of calling this lovely little corner of Suffolk my home, the time has come to move on….
When my husband told me we were moving, a year ago my initial questions would have been: Whats the housing like? Is it close to anywhere? What are the schools like? However this time the first qustion I asked was, is there a choir near there?! I am happy to say that being a part of Wattisham MWC has changed my life (gushy I know) I have put in previous blogs that I joined the choir on the first night feeling very low and lonely as my husband was in Afghanistan, the past year has changed my perception of military life, military wives and most of all myself.
The friends I have made at Wattisham over the last year are some of the most amazing people I have ever met, their warmth, their friendship and the amazing laughs we have had in the last year will stay with me forever, and I have some amazing stories to tell my daughter when she gets a bit older!
As anyone who knows me knows I’m not really a shy person and I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge, and although I have sang a bit in the past (mainly doing bad kareoke after one to many drinks!) I do get quite nervous about putting myself out there to be seen and judged. I have learned that I can sing and hold my own in front of alot of people (singing the solo piece of Wherever you are at the Poppy Appeal launch in front of thousands of people has to be one of the most exhilarating and frightning experiences of my life!) Singing with a group of friends around you seems like the most natural thing in the world, we have had some awesome experiences over the last 14 months and I hope there will will be many many more for WMWC ladies.
So I suppose that just leaves me to say, thank you everyone who has supported this choir and please continue to do so!
Chao for now everyone!! Clare xx
Here is a paragraph from one of our wonderful newer members Elisabeth Simons Fox.
Walking into the church for my 1st WMWC practice I felt a mix of nerves and excitement. I already knew one or two ladies who were members of the choir, and had heard about some of the amazing things they’d been involved in. I was introduced to the lovely Mr Dann, choir master, and a couple of the committee members, and was singing ‘Coffee Pot’ before I knew what was happening! Luckily several ladies thrust bits of paper my way with much needed words. We began learning two new songs on that 1st night, which was great for me, as everyone knew as much as I did.
By the end of the 1st choir practise I found myself agreeing to do my 1st performance, the British Legion concert in Stowmarket!! I was very grateful to be told I could have words for the concert, but was reassured that I’d soon be familiar with the songs and not need my folder. After three Tuesday practices the concert day arrived. And I managed to wangle a space in the middle row (almost concealed by another choir member, thankfully!) , and did my best, and loved it!
I have since performed with the choir on another two occasions, even managing to get myself on the telly , and have signed up for several more.We have lots of fun and giggles as well as making a fab sound, and I am so happy to be part of it, and have met so many lovely people. I am getting there with learning the words, but I fear I may need to have my folder surgically removed for my own good!
Here are the words of two of our choir girls who were lucky enough to go to the Classic Brits earlier this month:
Well being part of the WMWC continues to be a whirlwind! On Saturday 8th September we had our first concert at St Peter and St Mary’s church in Stowmarket in aid of the Royal British Legion.
We were told before we arrived that over 200 people had brought tickets to see us so we were all very excited, dressed in our new dresses, shoes and jewellery we all felt very fab indeed! (although I was rather nervous, this will become clear why later on!!) When we all got to the church there were people queuing out into the road and around the corner to get in (We did at this point ask if there were lots of other people performing too, as we couldnt believe that many people would come to see us!) All in all there were just over 300 people crammed into the church to see us that night, so we all thought we better put on a good show!
The song we opened with was Journeys ‘Don’t stop believing’ its a great one to start with as we can all never stop ourselves from dancing and smiling like loons when we sing it! After the first song was out of the way we all relaxed a bit into our next song ‘Hallelujah’ which I must say sounded magical in the accoustics of the church. Next was a new song to us that we have recently been learning which is Take Thats’ ‘Rule the World’ which is a great one to belt out! We then went into the song that started the whole Military Wives Choirs off, Paul Mealors ‘Wherever you are’ I must say alot of us get really emotional singing this song and on saturday was no exception, the lyrics to the song are so beautiful, we hope we did it justice! From there we went into our Queen Medley which I love and all of us dancing around and clapping was a great way to end for the interval.
During our break a local Soprano called Marie-Therese Cunningham performed a few of her faviourite songs, she was fab and had us all in fits of laughter with some of her songs!
We went back on after the interval and sang another of our new songs 9-5 by Dolly Parton, its a really quick song and gets us all back dancing about! Next was yet another new song (You get the idea, we are forever learning new songs!!) Perfect Day by Lou Reed, I must admit when we first started learning this one I never thought it would sound as good as it does, it really is beautiful. After that was the turn of an Abba classic, Mamma Mia, this was the first song we ever started learning, feels like we’ve been performing it forever!! At this point I started to feel very nervous as I had solo pieces in the next two songs, the first ‘I will Follow Him’ from sister act is such a great upbeat song and always feels like its over in a second, when we were waiting to do our final song ‘Sing’ I was really nervous and started to feel sick, being a tall soprano I always end up on an end, and at this concert I was behind alot of people. When I came to the microphone at the front it suddenly hit me how many people were in front of me! When I looked around me I realised I was surrounded by friends, and our fab choir master has given me so much confidence since we started, thank you MD, I was very pleased and proud of us all in the end.
Lastly we sang Land of Hope and Glory and the National Anthem and it was amazing to see so many people singing along and waving their flags, we left the stage to a Standing ovation, it was an incredible feeling and to know we were singing for such a great cause made it all the more special.
You can see us perform again this saturday (22nd Sept) in Thetford, were really excited for it!
I still can’t believe we all recorded the new album a few weeks ago, I am so excited to hear the final copy when it comes out! Since singing at the Council Dinner and opening Abbey Fest we had a bit of a party night at choir was so good just to sing our faviorite songs at the top of our lungs and have a good giggle! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house though when we said goodbye to one of our wonderful ladies Sarah who is leaving us as she’s moving to Portsmouth, she’s been such a part of our little choir family and we are all very sad to see her leave. She will be joining the MWC in Portsmouth, all I can say is our loss is very much their gain.
Since then we had two weeks off for summer leave which has been lovely but I am now itching to get back to choir tomorrow to see everyone and have a good sing song! I belive we will be looking at a new song tomorrow, so keep an ear out you could be hearing it at one of our performances soon!!
Speaking of performances, we have quite a few coming up between now and Christmas (Keep checking the website for dates and details)
If you fancy joining our choir and have a connection to Wattisham Airfield get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org we are always delighted to see new members, so come along and join in the fun!
Wattisham Military Wives Choir
C/O Wattisham HIVE
2 Valley Road
To ask about booking the choir to perform at your event, please email us and we will call you to discuss your requirements.