Photo: The cheque presentation at the recent Family and Friends concert (L-R standing: Emily Bennett (choir coach), Heather Quinn (St Elizabeth Hospice), Rachel Sloane (choir founder) and Jill Barton (Alzheimers Research UK)), photo: Peter Mee
At their recent Family and Friends evening, Felixstowe Community Choir gave £1,000 donations to three charities, St Elizabeth Hospice, Alzheimer’s Research and Brain Tumour Research. That brought the total they have given, to 25 charities, to £30,000 since they formed in October 2012. They have also appeared in other organisations’ fundraising concerts.
Singing pop and show tunes, the choir began in October 2012. It has no auditions, no sheet music, no ‘uniform’ to buy and no termly fees, just a weekly fee of £5 per person.
“Our brilliant conductor, accompanist and music coach, Emily Bennett, is a professional musician and actor,” explained Rachel Sloane, who started the choir. “We laugh, we sing, and make lots of friends along the way. We are a non-profit-making choir and all the members, now over 120, have the opportunity to vote on any decision. It’s a real night out. We meet at the Orwell Hotel, a perfect venue with its ballroom, lounges and bars. Around 60-70 men and women (many who have never been in a choir before) attend each week.”
Set up as a ‘non-performing’ choir, members soon found they liked to share the harmonies they had learnt, and the joy they get from singing together. A highlight of the year is when they sing with the Festival Orchestra as part of Music in Felixstowe.
Members will now choose which charities to support in 2020.