Submitted by: Anne Strudwick
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
A year ago the Warrant Officer choir was just a twinkle in the eye of a few members of the newly formed Stow Roses Women’s Institute. We were a random bunch of wannabes who fancied a sing-song but lacked the musical expertise to make it happen.
Enter Laura Forbes: music teacher extraordinaire. We were lucky to find Laura, who has just the right mix of nurture and discipline. In six months she has whipped us into shape and has taken us from happy-clappy sing-along to managing sophisticated three-part harmonies with lots of laughter along the way.
Although our choir is not performance driven we have had our moments on stage. Our first performance in August was a baptism of fire: the eight members from Higham’s Hill huddled together on the Assembly Hall stage to sing our tribute at the WW1 commemorative event, in front of an invited audience of 800.
Ours was the closing song, after the established, substantial and colour-co-ordinated Forest Choir had given their all. A hard act to follow! However, our rendering of ‘Dust in the Wind’ was well received and boosted our confidence. We left the stage a choir!
In September we hit the road: well, Cairo Rd. Our summer ‘tour’ started at the Cairo Rd street party where we were the warm up act for the ice cream van. A fine time was had by all in the last of the summer sunshine!
We repeated our WW1 performance in the more intimate setting of Vestry House and also played a set at Stowfest at the Warrant Officer. Despite our keyboard going AWOL on the day, plucky Laura improvised with a ukulele and the heavy metal audience listened and applauded.
Thanks to The Warrant Officer
Throughout, Rob Richer, Warrant Officer landlord was our mainstay. He has provided a free practice room at the Warrant Officer for our Monday sessions and much needed practical support when the choir was in its infancy.
In recent months he has joined our ranks and lent his voice to our back row baritones. Our relationship with the Warrant Officer has been mutually supportive: the choir has joined in with commemorative events in this important centenary of WW1 and Rob’s contacts has given us the opportunity to perform and recruit.
A Grown Up Choir
Our membership has grown steadily since we started in April. We now have a pool of 25 regular members. We are a sociable and supportive bunch, united in our determination to enjoy ourselves.
Our founding principle is “want to sing, will sing”. We are an audition-free zone, keen to recruit new-comers: the more the merrier. Performances have been informal and great fun.
We would particularly welcome more men to add some ballast and depth to our sound. We are working on Warrant Officer regulars to overcome their “can’t sing” mental block.
Join us one Monday 7.30–9pm for a free, no-strings attached try-out at the Warrant Officer pub.