Military Wives choir seeking to perform in Normandy
The Chivenor Military Wives Choir, is hoping Connexion readers can help them find a choir to sing with for their planned tour of the Normandy Beaches next October, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
They performed in France and Belgium in each of the past two years, and in 2019 they feel a visit to Normandy would be special as the North Devon beaches near to where they live were used to train soldiers for the D-Day landings.
The Chivenor Military Wives Choir is made up of wives, partners and girlfriends of British Military personnel and veterans.
It was set up in 2011, when Gareth Malone visited RMB Chivenor to form a choir for the BBC TV programme, The Choir: Military Wives.
It was such a success that the song they sang at the 2011 Festival of Remembrance, Wherever You Are, was released as a single and became the Christmas number one that year, raising more than £500,000 for the military charities SSAFA and The Royal British Legion.
Since then the choir has released two number one albums, In My Dreams and Stronger Together and has been involved in national events including the Diamond Jubilee Concert.
They continue to perform to raise money for charity, but tend to favour smaller venues now. As Treasurer and Overseas Visits Co-ordinator, Jane Batchelor says, their main concern is the welfare of the wives when the men are away: “None of us were in a choir before we started in 2011 and the experience has given many of us increased confidence.
Jane Batchelor, says that because of the choir’s geographical and historical links with Normandy, they would like to sing there: “It is very relevant for our group because of where we live and the 75th anniversary timing.
“We would like to be able to pay our respects on behalf of all the military wives and the people of North Devon.”
The choir has a repertoire ranging from Coldplay and Queen to classical and religious music, which they vary according to the type of concert and venue.
They rehearse once a week with their musical director and more before a big performance.
They intend to come for a weekend in October 2019, travelling on Thursday October 3, hopefully singing on Friday and Saturday and going home on the Sunday.