In 2010 I joined the Association of British Choral Conductors (ABCD) Intermediate training course, and over the space of 12 months learned choir direction skills in London, trying them out on my first eager singers, the newly founded Kimpton Village Choir.
Within 8 weeks of founding the choir these 13 singers performed in Kimpton's first Winter Concert, with a programme filled with contributions from local musicians of all types - anyone I could muster.
The choir flourished year on year, growing in size, skill and impact ever since day one! The winter concert has become a village tradition, and continues to enable musicians of all ages and abilities to perform, entertaining hundreds of guests from near and far.
A summer concert is held every year in Ayot St Lawrence's Palladian Church, or more recently on the Lower Green in Kimpton, and a singing workshop has brought visitors from neighbouring village and towns to sing their hearts out each year in January.
I am indebted to pianist Charlotte Vickerstaff for her endless patience, good humour and faithful support,
In autumn 2017 I passed the choir over to the direction of Tim Armstrong Taylor. You can contact the choir here:
Community Choir is all about ordinary people who may or may not have any musical background or confidence coming together for a new experience of music-making and fellowship. These are imperfect performances, but they show all the warmth and pleasure that we all found ourselves surrounded by week by week, in rehearsal and then also in concert.
Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen, arr AB for KVC
It didn't take long to decide that one choir was not enough! In 2014 I formed the Wheathampstead Women's Choir, later renamed Birds of a Feather, with a daytime rehearsal and performances in the community such as in church, in care homes and for the local disabled club.
I passed this choir over to Charlotte Vickerstaff in 2018, who has rebranded it in her own style as Clover Singing Club - if you are interested in a women's daytime choir click here
A cracking rendition of the song medley Get happy!/ Oh Happy Day (arr Gilpin), from the very first term of the Wheathampstead Community Choir, later renamed 'Birds of a Feather', in a service at St Helen's Church, with Alexander L'Estrange accompanying on piano.
Only 8 weeks from kick-off: fab!
This little light of mine, arr S Milloy