Drayton & Taverham

Find your voice at our choir

Just Regional
Apr 24, 2024 2 mins read

A community choir which gets together every week to enjoy making music is hoping some more members will come along and swell the ranks.

The Oriole Singers meet in Norwich on Fridays for rehearsals and hold regular lunchtime concerts which draw quite a crowd.

“After covid a lot of our members didn’t come back, which changed our style,” said musical director Martin Wyatt. “We changed from classical music to songs from the shows and more popular stuff, so we want to build up our strength.”

Formed in 1986 as the St Gregory’s Choral Society, the choir is popular with keen singers of all ages who  also enjoy the social element.

John Pinnington has been a member for 12 years and said: “Singing is so good for you – you’re working in a team and it’s very good for your mental health.”

A couple of members have even found that singing has helped overcome issues such as Parkinson’s and recovery following strokes.

And singers come from far and wide to take part.

Margaret Gooch travels from Gorleston and she combines her singing with a shopping trip.

“I have sung in choirs before and like singing – this is good because it is held in the daytime,” she said.

Martin does not hold auditions. People are invited to go along, join in with the singing, and find out where their voice fits into the ensemble.

“There’s so much to this choir,” said Carol Chilton, who has been a member for 10 years. “Everyone is accepted and has the chance to be a soloist. I’ve never known a choir like it.”

And as well as the support of other members, there is a large following of fans who never miss a concert. These are held throughout the year, with varied programmes. The spring concert was all about romance and included songs from Aspects of Love.

The choir rehearses on Fridays from 12.45pm until 2pm in The Chantry, in Norwich.

Anyone wanting to take part can just go along and join in.

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