Military wives go from strength to strength
MEMBERS of the Lympstone Military Wives Choir are celebrating coming to the end of a busy year and looking forward to a host of concerts this winter.
The choir is also thrilled to be featured on the new Military Wives Choir album out on November 5, called Stronger Together.
And earlier this month six members of the choir represented the Lympstone contingent at the ceremony of the Classic Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, performing alongside members of the other choirs from around the country.
One of the songs, Wherever You Are, on the Military Wives Choir's first album, performed by members of the Plymouth and Chivenor choirs, had won best single at the awards.
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The Lympstone women joined representatives from the 24 other choirs and spent two days rehearsing with Military Wives' choirmaster Gareth Malone, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and singer Gary Barlow and a full orchestra, ready to perform Barlow's song Sing, which the choir performed at the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations in June.
Cathy Guyver, 38, choir member from Lympstone, said: "It was an incredible experience for those that went.
"It was very poignant for the choir as well as they had got to know each other at the jubilee celebrations so it felt like old friends coming together again – they said it's becoming more like a big family now."
September saw the launch of the Military Wives Choir Foundation – so the movement now has a charitable status enabling donations pledged at the concerts to be ploughed back into supporting the choirs and furthering their work.
To mark the launch, the choir went to Wellington Barracks in London to record a video for the new album alongside around 650 members of the other choirs nationally, managing to break a world record in the process for the recording of the biggest choir.
"The formation of the foundation has also meant the branding of the choirs can be made stronger, with new logos and merchandise which enables us to promote our work, strengthening the support network for the wives and girlfriends of military personnel," said Cathy.
The choir has a host of dates in the diary including a performance at the La La Choirs Gala Concert at the Great Hall in Exeter on October 27.
The choir is performing at the Christmas lights switch-on event in Exeter's Princesshay on November 22, and at the Christmas Cracker event in Exmouth on December 1. The choir is also performing at the Hospiscare Christmas concert at the Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth on December 10.
"We continue to be delighted by the experiences we're having and overwhelmed by how well received we are by so many people," said Cathy.
"We often get stopped, if we're wearing our T-shirts, by people who give us their support.
"But we're equally as committed to continue supporting local fundraising events which is very much part of what we do.
"You never know what is going to come up but what we do know is that we will continue rehearsing together each week in preparation for the big events and work to support the partners of military personnel in the area."