By Sue Callow, Stokes Singers.
If you lived in the new town of Bradley Stoke back in the early 1990s, you may well remember local musician Nick Breeze putting out a call for residents to join him in forming a choir. The Church of Christ the King was the venue for the first meeting in June 1993 which attracted singers from all around the area. In the following September, weekly rehearsals started in earnest and with a first performance on the horizon, it was time to name the new choir. Taking their name from the local communities of Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke, Stoke Gifford and Stoke Lodge which were home to many of the members, Stokes Singers were ready to entertain!
The choir presented their first Christmas concert on 10th December 1993 and long-standing members recall it being a slightly nerve-wracking occasion with the audience of loyal family and friends numbering only a few more than the singers on the stage! However, encouraged by the enthusiasm of Nick and his wife Maureen, as well as his distinctive arrangements, Stokes Singers were soon performing regularly at community events.
Fast forward 25 years to summer 2018 and Stokes Singers are once more preparing to entertain with a packed programme. Musical directors Sian Walters and Philip Lawrence have created a mix of old favourites and new pieces which reflect not only the traditions built up over the years but also fresh directions for the 30 men and women who make up the choir.
Of course, a celebration is not complete without some special guests, so the Red Tie Choir from Little Stoke Primary School will be coming along to sing their own songs and to join with the adult voices. And to bring a particularly summery feel to the evening, Steel Storm band from Castle School, Thornbury will be playing some sunny tunes. Equally important is an enthusiastic audience, so please come along and share the fun at the final event in our Sing 25 challenge. If you are a former member of the choir we would love to see you again.
‘It’s Our Party’ is at the Church of Christ the King, Mautravers Close, Bradley Stoke on Saturday 7th July. Doors will open at 7pm and the concert will begin at 7.30pm. The nominated charity for the evening is Clic Sargent, which supports children, young people and their families through cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
Advance tickets (£5 adults, £2.50 children aged 5 -16) are available from choir members or from Liz on 01454 614148. Some tickets will also be available on the night at £6/£3, but please book early to be sure of your seat.
• More info: www.stokessingers.org.uk
Photo: Stokes Singers in rehearsal for their 25th anniversary concert.
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 18). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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