New choir planned
A new choir is aiming to start-up in Shepton Mallet in the New Year.
The Shepton Mallet Community Choir is for anyone who loves singing but hasn't sung in a choir since school, or who always wanted to join a choir, but can't read music, or who wanta to learn how to sing, but doesn't really know where to start.
On January 10, the new Community Choir will be starting right in the centre of Shepton – singing music from all over the world. It will be sung a capella (with no accompanying instruments), in harmony, and all taught by ear.
In community choirs, the focus is less on performance, and more and just enjoying singing great songs that communities have sung together for hundreds of years, as well as classic numbers that people already know and love.
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Choir leader Guy Wilson is a linguist, musician and experienced choir leader, who loves giving people of all ages the opportunity to sing together in harmony.
By putting singers and non-singers alike at their ease with fun, non-threatening singing games, he reckons he can get just about any group of people singing well together in no time.
He said: "You wouldn't believe the reaction of people after their first session.
"It's a question of getting everyone relaxed and having a good time, and then just choosing the right simple songs."
The 40 members of his other choir, Macapello in Melksham, have just given a Christmas concert, after singing together for just 10 weeks.
He said: "They were all incredibly nervous and just didn't believe they could pull it off. But they came out looking absolutely elated, and so did the audience."
Guy's musical experience is wide-ranging. He was a violinist at school, and joined a professional opera company at the age of 22, before joining the cathedral choir of Christ Church, Oxford.
He now sings with close harmony quartet The B Naturals, singing concerts and giving singing workshops all around the South West.
He believes that Shepton is the ideal place to start a new choir, as it is full of people who are crying out to restore pride to the town and who would be willing to commit time and energy into re-building community life, especially through something as inspiring as singing together in harmony.
Practice will take place on Thursdays during term-time at the Peter Street Rooms, starting with a £2 taster on January 10, at 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Then it will be £6 per session, £5 concessions, or 10 for the price of eight.