Potton a cappella group look ahead to USA competition

PUBLISHED: 17:01 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 28 September 2018

Some of the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire members of Phoenix Chorus. L-R Jane Butcher, Maxine Connolly, Christine Anthony, Anita Roberts, Jane Martin, Tina Fury, Sue Wilson, Lorraine Robinson, Sue Gourdie, Gill Knifton, Jo Williams, Mavis Giles & Maggi Cheshire - who is our only remaining founder member. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

Some of the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire members of Phoenix Chorus. L-R Jane Butcher, Maxine Connolly, Christine Anthony, Anita Roberts, Jane Martin, Tina Fury, Sue Wilson, Lorraine Robinson, Sue Gourdie, Gill Knifton, Jo Williams, Mavis Giles & Maggi Cheshire - who is our only remaining founder member. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

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The musical director of a Potton-based all-female a cappella group has said representing the UK at an international championship will be an enormous honour and privilege, as they prepare to jet off to the United States.

Lynda Wood is the musical director of Phoenix Chorus. Picture: Phoenix ChorusLynda Wood is the musical director of Phoenix Chorus. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

Phoenix Chorus started in 1978 – a few months before Lynda Wood moved to Potton from London and was introduced to the group. She began singing with them in 1979 and after a couple of years she became their musical director.

She told the Comet: “There were 13 of us when I started and now we hover around 75. Over that time around 400 women have come through our doors.

“We’ve won multiple championships and sung at venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Westminster Cathedral.

“The chorus is a mix of ages – our youngest is 26 and our oldest is 82. We have a whole mix of professions, we’re like most other choirs, but the difference is we sing and dance. We sing a vast repitoire, from contemporary to traditional.”

Their next big show is in St Louis. This will be Phoenix’s third international competition, after Hawaii and Las Vegas.

Lynda said: “It’s great fun. Standing on that international stage you are representing your country, which is an enormous honour and privilege, and you’re also standing on that stage with champions of all regions – so its a huge testament to the chorus’ achievement to be there.

In preparation, they performed a show at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre on Saturday.

Lynda said: “It was amazing. We did more than 20 songs in the performance – and it was exhausing and exhilarating. The group was brilliant.

“As the director it makes me write a plan for what we need to do at rehearsal tomorrow night, because it’s never finished.

“There’s always another little layer you can put somewhere.

“We’ve got two more rehearsals before we go, and they will be finessing what we are doing.

“Now it’s all about owning everything we’re doing, loving it and sharing it with the audience.”

Lynda’s target is to maintain their top-20 world rankings at the Sweet Adelines International Barbershop Competition in October.

The group practise every Tuesday from 7.45pm until 10.15pm, and are open to potential new members going along to find out more.

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