"I joined the Suffolk Soul Singers in September this year, and can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute.
My introduction to the group came first from Viv, who greeted me with friendly, informative emails, giving me everything I needed to know. The welcome she gave meant that I could step into a brand new group of people with confidence, knowing where I was to go and what I could expect.
Viv had said that the Soul Singers were a friendly bunch...and it's true! I've really appreciated everyone taking the time to say 'hello', ask me how my week has been and have never felt like the 'new boy'. My fellow singers have really made me feel at home. Everyone learns in different ways, and Andi's technique suits me down to the ground.I have felt that mastering something new from the 'bottom up' has enabled me to really get to know the lyrics and rhythm, and how vital it is to get the feel of the song. This has proved even more important when it's a song that I had felt that I was really familiar with. The time and effort that Graham puts into the music files every week is invaluable. Listening and singing along with my part has enabled me to step into the room a week later with a sense of purpose and confidence, hoping that what I have learnt doesn't begin to unravel too quickly!
I've been asked why I joined the Suffolk Soul Singers, and I've found it hard to put my finger on exactly what my motivation was. I think the answer is simply 'music'. I love all forms of music, and have no time for 'guilty pleasures'...there are just songs that you love! I fell in love with the 'Queen of Boogie Woogie', Ruby Turner, after seeing her at just 16 years old, and her version of 'Peace in the Valley' would without doubt be taken to a Desert Island. I had such a thrill singing that song in my second week with the choir.
Likewise, I've dragged my kids to every Fleetwood Mac gig I could afford, and have seen them listen to Stevie Nicks' stories about opening for Jimi Hendricks and Janis Joplin in 1960's San Francisco, and watch in awe as Lindsey Buckingham tore up the stage with his unique guitar style...so 'Don't Stop' has been a absolute highlight too. For my birthday recently I was bought a book called 'Wake Up To The Joy Of You', talking about various ways you can improve your life. One of the chapters is entitled 'Find Your Linchpin', and discusses the things you rely on to centre yourself.
The Suffolk Soul Singers is fast becoming my linchpin...roll on every Thursday!"
"I've been a part of Suffolk Soul Singers Choir for 10 months now. I was introduced by my friend Helen. She has been in the choir for 7 years. Helen said; ‘Yu'll probably like it as your always humming and singing'. With a lot of toing and froing with ‘Oh my voice is never good enough for a choir' etc, Helen convinced me to come along for a trial night.
I turned up and immediately found how friendly and welcoming everyone was, and I mean everyone. I was seated next to Katherine, an experienced singer - very helpful having an experienced voice in your ear! I went home that evening feeling very uplifted from singing within such a large group and went back for the second week, and now feel a part of the choir very much.
The thing that I found most difficult was singing songs that I had not originally learnt with the choir as Andi the MD will have a particular way of constructing and teaching the choir the sound she is looking for. You are however given recordings of all of the songs that you can learn at your leisure.
In my early months in the choir, I did not feel confident to attend the gigs where the choir sang in public. There was never any pressure on me to take part; this helped me to gain confidence at my own pace. It was suggested that I had a bit of practice singing to the public by attending one of the ‘busking events', which I did. I was so pleased I did as it allowed me to understand how the choir conducted themselves in public and it gave me the opportunity to ‘try it out'! I then sung at the Wolsey Theatre with the choir in July which was amazing and I now sing at as many events as possible.
The choir has become a real part of my life now, I thought that I had a very full and social life with not much room for more, but the choir has given me so such much more. It is a very warm community, where I go home after weekly practice feeling uplifted and sing to the family as I get home!!!"