A special edition of In Tune by Sean Rafferty gave a sneak preview of what the audience can expect from The Military Wives Choir performing at the BBC Proms on 3rd August. 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.
Like many Military Wives I am soon to reach that point in time where we have to move on to pastures new. It is going to be a harder move than any before as I will be leaving behind so many more friends than any other time and the place where I met all these wonderful ladies, the Wattisham Military Wives Choir.
The choir has been an integral part of my life since it was first started in January 2012. I was privileged to be intimately involved in that first year as the Deputy Coordinator, and have been lucky enough to be involved in some amazing events. However despite all the big events we have been involved in I have to say that the best bit about the choir is the friendships, comradeship and support it has provided.
The singing itself has been fabulous and I’ve learnt so much about my voice, I don’t think I’ll be able to give it up, fortunately with the number of Military Wives Choirs now situated around the country I don’t think I’ll have too. Although I have to say no other choir will ever take the place of this one in my heart and memories.
Thank you Wattisham Military Wives Choir, you will not be forgotten.
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 some words by one of our lovely choir ladies Lyn Silk.
I have been singing with the choir since its early days, I didn’t know anybody there at first but was made to feel welcome, so I stayed and sang and wondered if I would fit in with all these lovely young women.
I needn’t have worried- we were all in the same boat- wanting to do our best, get the harmonies right and sound great. And so gradually, under the wings of our talented musical director, with lots of support from each other and for each other, we grew as a choir, both in numbers and sound. I don’t have any sisters or daughters, so for me the choir is my ‘women fix’ every week and I so enjoy being with them all, singing, sharing and laughing – we do a lot of that! Learning new songs, perfecting older ones and helping new members feel welcomed to the choir too! The last few months have been stratospheric for the choir, with different members singing for the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, singing at the Classic Brits awards and all of us recording songs for the new Military Wives album! But more than anything for me, singing and performing with Wattisham Military Wives Choir has been an amazing and joyful pleasure and long may it continue!
Here are the words of two of our choir girls who were lucky enough to go to the Classic Brits earlier this month:
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.