Bluebirds Sing Together Again!

Tuesday 6th July proved to be a long awaited and exciting day for the Marham Bluebirds Military Wives Choir. They were able to hold their first in-person, informal rehearsal since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Following all current government guidelines, the ladies all had a thoroughly enjoyable hour, singing and spending socially distanced time with each other outdoors. With rain forecast, we donned our wellies and raincoats, however the sun made an appearance for us! 

Since the pandemic began last year, the choir have been holding Zoom rehearsals to uphold the Military Wives Choirs ethos of “Sing, Share, Support” as we understand the importance our choir plays in the lives of the ladies in feeling like they have a place to belong, call their own, and make friendships. This has been especially important in times such as a global pandemic. Our reunion reinforced the immense value the choir brings to all our ladies; and the reason the choirs were formed in the first place by Choirmaster Gareth Malone back in 2011. 

*Inspired by the friendship and camaraderie in Catterick Garrison choir, Gareth Malone worked with women from Chivenor and Plymouth military bases to make music and film the two-part BBC documentary series ‘The Choir: Military Wives’. Those choirs, galvanised by the support from each other whilst husbands and loved ones were away, enjoyed amazing success when they came together to record ‘Wherever You Are’ and performed at the Royal Albert Hall at the Festival of Remembrance. The ladies created an unprecedented level of public empathy for women in the military community, and consequently shot to Number 1 in the UK charts and raised over £500,000 for military charities, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and the Royal British Legion. Inspired by Chivenor and Plymouth, other military wives began to set up choirs across the country, with Lympstone, Portsmouth* and our very own Marham choir being among the first. In fact, we will be celebrating our 10th Birthday in January 2022, and the ladies are already in the initial planning stages of Birthday celebrations! 

Formal rehearsals are due to re-start in September, and this date coincides with the choir being able to re-open their doors to new members once more. If you or your spouse/family member have a military connection and you would like to express an interest in joining the choir, please email marham@militarywiveschoirs.org and our membership secretary can add you to our waiting list. No experience necessary and no auditions! We look forward to welcoming you to our Choir family! 

by Rebecca Jarvis-Broad

*Excerpt taken from the Military Wives Choirs Foundation ‘Our Story’*

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