Stevenage Ladies’ Choir celebrates 60th anniversary with isolation track

PUBLISHED: 15:51 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:51 22 May 2020

Members of Stevenage Ladies' Choir recorded the track in isolation, determined to mark the choir's 60th anniversary despite the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Courtesy of Nicole Vaughton

Members of Stevenage Ladies' Choir recorded the track in isolation, determined to mark the choir's 60th anniversary despite the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Courtesy of Nicole Vaughton

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Stevenage Ladies’ Choir is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the release of a recording of the choir’s signature song, As Long As I Have Music.

Stevenage Ladies' Choir formed on May 23, 1960. Picture: Courtesy of Nicole VaughtonStevenage Ladies' Choir formed on May 23, 1960. Picture: Courtesy of Nicole Vaughton

Members of the community choir, which was formed on May 23, 1960, recorded the song in their own homes as a way of celebrating the anniversary, as all concerts and celebrations have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The choir no longer competes in competitions, instead focusing on singing for charity, and this latest release will raise money for TRACKS Autism - a specialist early years centre in Stevenage for children with an autistic spectrum condition, and React - Rapid Effective Assistance for Children with potentially Terminal illness.

Ann-Marie Chessman, the choir’s musical director, said: “We wanted to find a way to bring the ladies together, as well as raise money for our chosen charities who we’ve sadly not been able to sing for due to coronavirus.

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“The ladies stepped right out of their comfort zones to record their harmony parts individually and we’ll be releasing the fully-mixed track tomorrow – the date of our anniversary.”

Concert coordinator Nicole Vaughton said: “Singing together is a great way to boost mental wellbeing, and with extra stresses placed on our members – some of whom are shielding, some who are key workers and others who are simply trying to work through the pandemic – having that taken away has been tough.

“I think that by producing this recording we’ve shown we’re all in this together, even when we’re apart, and we hope people enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.

“It’s a shame we can’t celebrate as we would have liked to, but the choir is still going strong with nearly 70 members, and I’m confident we’ll be here in another 60 years. Concerts and parties can be rearranged, so for now we just wanted to do our bit to bring a little joy to people through our shared love of music.

Stevenage Ladies' Choir has been forced to cancel its concerts and 60th anniversary celebrations, but members are determined to keep making music and raising money for charity while in the safety of their own homes. Picture: Courtesy of Nicole VaughtonStevenage Ladies' Choir has been forced to cancel its concerts and 60th anniversary celebrations, but members are determined to keep making music and raising money for charity while in the safety of their own homes. Picture: Courtesy of Nicole Vaughton

“We’d also love to raise as much money as we can so, if you are able, please watch and share our track and make a donation to help us celebrate this milestone in our long history.”

You will be able to watch the track and make a donation at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/slccovid-19lockdownchoir, or visit the choir’s Facebook page or stevenageladieschoir.co.uk.


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