STAFFORD’S very own Military Wives Choir will be performing at a town centre venue on Saturday.
The choir, founded only nine months ago, is making its town centre debut with a free concert at St Mary’s Church at 11am on Saturday August 23. Admission is free but donations are welcome for the Military Wives Foundation, which supports the growing network of choirs.
The Stafford choir was the brainchild of RAF wife Sheryl Godwin, who moved to Stafford with her husband, Flight Lieutenant Dave Godwin, of Tactical Supply Wing, last October.
Staffordshire-born Sheryl, 46, used to sing with a wives choir at their previous posting at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire and has been involved in singing and amateur dramatics since her schooldays.
“I mentioned the idea of a choir at a coffee morning in Stafford with other military wives,” she said. “I suddenly found I had a dozen ladies interested, but nowhere to rehearse and no musical director, so we had to get busy quickly.”
Since then, the choir has gone from strength to strength, and has recruited local musician Simon Allen as musical director.
Its members include the wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of servicemen.
They made their debut at the MoD Stafford Christmas carol concert, and since then have performed at a variety of events including an WI anniversary celebration at the county showground. They will also be appearing in November’s Festival of Remembrance at Stafford’s Gatehouse Theatre.
“The choir gives us a chance to have fun, rehearse together and provide mutual support,” said Sheryl
“Everyone with a forces family connection is very welcome and there are no auditions - even if you have only sung in the bath before we’re happy for you to join in.
“We find singing together creates a real bond, and we can give each other emotional support.
“ It’s an opportunity to make friends and that is precious when you move around so much.
“I have met lots of ladies who I wouldn’t otherwise have come across, because our husbands don’t work together, and I have found some real gems.” The choir’s St Mary’s concert programme includes favourites from the national Military Wives Choir CD releases, plus a medley of Vera Lynn classics from the 1940s, and a couple of First World War songs, including Pack Up Your Troubles.