Choir made up of people affected by cancer ready for busy Christmas

A DORSET choir made up of people affected by cancer is preparing for its busiest festive period ever – with 12 concerts between now and Christmas.

The 12 shows of Christmas will see the Rising Voices Wessex choir, which meets in Poole each week, perform across the county.

Rising Voices Wessex was formed in 2013 to bring together people recovering from cancer treatment, and those affected by the experience of cancer in their family.

Male and female singers of all ages and backgrounds rehearse weekly in Poole, choosing and singing songs from wartime to present day.

No prior singing experience – only enthusiasm – is required for anyone thinking about joining.

A founder member, Noeline Young, said: “Rising Voices is made up of a joyful group of people who just love to sing, and word about us certainly seems to have spread, as we have 12 appearances booked between November 30 and Christmas Day, including two days where we will be travelling from one concert straight to another.”y

The choir is made up of people affected by cancer - and is keen to recruit more members

The choir is made up of people affected by cancer – and is keen to recruit more members

She went on: “One of the highlights will be our Christmas concert on December 16 at St George’s Church, Darby’s Lane, Poole, where we will also be joined by guest musicians Ian ‘Baldy’ Roberts on acoustic guitar and singer Becki Graves Woods.

“We are up against the Strictly Come Dancing Final that evening, but we know it will be a well-attended night.”

The choir will also be performing twice during December at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

“Singing at the hospital is very special for us because many of our members have been through difficult health journeys, either personally or with someone they love, and it’s wonderful to spread joy to the patients, visitors and staff who are facing tough times or are working hard on our behalf,” Noeline added.

“It’s certainly going to be a hectic December for the choir, but we are not complaining. We love to dress-up and perform a wonderful selection of festive songs and carols, expertly led by our co-directors Wendy Morrow and Mark Anstead – and we hope as many people as possible will join us and celebrate Christmas in song.”

The choir is now taking bookings for 2024 and on February 11 will be taking part in the Big ABBA singalong, led by renowned conductor Gavin Carr, at Talbot Heath School.

Rising Voices is also looking for more members in 2024. There is no charge to join, although there is a suggested weekly donation which includes refreshments.

Anyone interested in finding out more can go along and try it out on Tuesday evenings from 6.45pm to 9pm at St John’s Church, Ashley Road, Parkstone, BH14 0AA.

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