New home necessary for the big choir with a difference

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By Retford Times | Thursday, January 10, 2013, 06:50

A GROUP of musically-minded Retford residents are celebrating after their choir with a difference proved a resounding success.

The Retford Community Singers were formed as an alternative to traditional performing choirs, which often audition potential members.

According to several of its founders, the collective welcomes everybody, regardless of experience or vocal ability.

Since its establishment in September, the choir has grown to include around 70 regular singers and has had to move into a larger venue in the form of St Joseph's Church Hall.

They sing a wide repertoire of musical genres for fun, without the pressure of rehearsing for upcoming performances.

There is some professional input in the form of musical director Janet Wood, who has been credited with hugely improving the standard of singing among the group.

"Our choir is for those who may be anxious about singing in a traditional choir – we are very inclusive," said member Natalie Morvan.

"It's a social thing and a vocal work-out; afterwards we feel lifted and chilled out."

While her friend Judith Jones, who also sings in local performance choirs, enjoys the laid-back atmosphere of the Singers.

"Anyone can join us – there is none of the tension that comes with having to perform, although we have not ruled out singing in public if we all decide we want to. It's not daunting at all."

So far the group have tackled a variety of musical styles including African, English folk, gospel, spiritual, musicals and carols.

The choir is a not-for-profit venture and costs just £2.50 per session to attend.

Although the majority of singers are women, an increasing number of men are joining up.

The social scene involves pub trips after singing sessions, and members are a mixture of ages and professions.

"It's nice to come together as a group – we are all very friendly and it's good to get to know people locally," added Natalie.

While under the tutelage of vocal coach Janet, the group's sound is improving.

"We sound great! The standard has improved massively.

"The results Janet gets are amazing, even if it sometimes goes wrong," said Judith.

"Singing is good for your whole body," she added.

Sessions of the choir take place on Tuesday nights from 7.30-9.15pm at St Joseph's Church Hall, Babworth Road.

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