A CHOIR which prides itself on bringing the community together is celebrating after releasing its first CD.

The three-track recording has recently been released by the Swindon Gospel Choir. Choir director Steve Mpofu has been working towards the achievement for the past three years.

Steve, who is also a pastor of Christendom Pentecostal Church, was delighted that the group had come this far.

He said: “I am a bit shocked we have released it because I didn’t think that we would have got this far and done this well. I am just so pleased that we have done it.”

The recording features the voices of some 15 choir members aged between 16 and 52 from all over the world, including Zimbabweans, South Africans, Swazis and Nigerians.

Steve said: “We have a multicultural community with many people living in Swindon who don’t come from Swindon and I wanted to do something to bring the community closer together and to develop skills and to socialise and do something a little bit different.

“People came along who had never sung before and so they got to learn that and other skills like team working skills and production skills.

“Over the years about 50 people have been involved, but people came along, and then they would leave and more people would come and more would leave. Eventually we had enough people and the voices were right and we recorded it.”

Last December, the group had its first taste of success when it appeared on stage at the Wyvern Theatre alongside the Kentwood Choir, led by Sheila Harrod.

Steve said: “Sheila Harrod came in and helped us a lot. She gave the choir coaching and helped them to develop their skills and their performance, and then she asked us to perform with the Kentwood Choir at the Wyvern.

“We are so grateful to her for all her support and her experience.”

The CD, titled You Are The Same, features three recorded tracks from the choir, including I’m Going to March, You Are The Same, and a final track in Zulu, Sesilindele Thina.

The choir, which is also a sponsor of the Swindon Foodbank, hopes to contribute a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the CD.

Steve said: “A big thank you to all the people of Swindon for all their support for us. We couldn’t have done it without them or the support of the Wyvern and the Kentwood Choir.”

The CD is available to buy for £7 at the Rainbow Bookshop or That’s Entertainment in the town centre.

It’s also available to download online from Amazon at www.amazon.com/You-Are-the-Same/dp/B00KJLPU8M.