Choirs sang hearts out for Calne’s first Spring Sing

This Is Wiltshire: Children from Cherhill School's Sing-up-Group perform at Calne's Spring Sing in Marden House Children from Cherhill School's Sing-up-Group perform at Calne's Spring Sing in Marden House

Choirs sang their hearts out for Calne’s first Spring Sing, performing a wide variety of music including pop, gospel and jazz tunes, as well as music from Africa.

Saturday’s event saw eight different choirs perform at three venues, the town hall, the library and Marden House, which were all packed with supporters.

Youngsters from Cherhill Primary School and John Bentley performed, as well as Calne’s largest contemporary choir Singchronize and Chippenham world music choir Lingmara.

Calne Town Council made a special effort for the day, forming its own choir to sing a song called the Dixieland Band just before lunchtime.

For some, such as pupils from St Dunstan’s School in Calne, the event provided a valuable chance to perform in front of an audience.

Alison Armstrong, music subject leader at St Dunstan’s, said: “This is the first time we have performed out of school so they were all quite apprehensive about how it was going to go.

“I think it’s really important when you’re a choir to perform to an audience. To perform to people they don’t know is quite daunting, some of these children are only eight.”

“It’s a very good experience and it’s nice to be out and about in the community.”

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Crystal Clifford, 25, sings with Synchronize and also teaches at The Manor in Melksham.

She said: “I’m from Semington and the nearest choir I fancied joining was in Calne. I was a little bit nervous, but it’s not a choir for musical experts it’s a community thing.

“I’m a teacher at a primary school and I have a choir. It’s really nice that they have children as well. Then the children will be able to see what other choirs do and that’s a really good environment.”

Catherine Shillaker, of Woodland Park, Calne leads two choirs, a children’s choir called Youth Voices and an adult choir called New Voices, which sang Shackles (Praise You) by Mary Mary and Something Inside So Strong.

She said: “Most of them here would say they couldn’t sing, but they can.”

The day also included five singing workshops, run by Calne Choral Society, Calne Baptist Church and SupaNova, aiming to give people the confidence to sing.

It ended with a big sing on the High Street, involving every single choir.

Tracey Howell, from Calne Town Council, said: “It’s brilliant, the town is buzzing and we’re buzzing. The community spirit is absolutely fantastic again and all three venues have been packed out with people.”

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