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Musical Director: Greg Watson

Greg and Peter November 2018.jpg

The Musicality Singers      

          

As choirs go, The Musicality Singers is relatively new. In the course of our short existence, though, we’ve come a long way. We are now an independent community choir with a wide repertoire of music and experience of performing in a variety of circumstances and venues. It wasn’t always like that, though.

Based in Worksop, on the edge of north Nottinghamshire, close to the Derbyshire and South Yorkshire borders, it all began when a group of people from the local U3A got together in November 2011 just to sing.

 

We were led initially by John Fletcher, an expert on the history of nearby Clumber Park and an amateur musician. We were – and are – a mixed bunch. Some of us hadn’t sung as part of a choir before; some had quite a bit of experience in other choirs. Somehow, though, it started to come together. With John’s help, we began to evolve into a choir rather than a group of people who just got together to have a sing song. So much so, that we eventually reached the point where John felt that if we wanted to develop further, we needed to make use of the services of someone with more professional musical skills.

Fortunately, with John’s help, we found the person we needed, in the form of Greg Watson, an accomplished and versatile musician and Musical Director who has a talent for making learning fun. He has since said, ‘I knew from the moment I first heard the choir that it had the potential to be something quite special.’ 

Gradually, with Greg’s help and the help of Peter Colby (who at the time was our Accompanist and Assistant Musical Director), we’ve evolved from a unison choir into one that takes six-part harmonies (almost) in our stride. Over time we’ve developed and broadened our repertoire quite considerably. 

So, we’ve learned a lot, come a long way and things have changed. After seven years, sadly, Peter moved on. Fortunately, though, we were lucky enough to find Jennifer Demicheli, an experienced musician in her own right and an excellent Accompanist and Assistant Musical Director. What hasn’t changed over the years, is that we still get to have fun, too. Greg has gone on record as saying: ‘There’s a continuous enthusiasm and sense of fun from the members that makes the choir a pleasure both to listen to and to be part of.’ 

Of course, as with any choir, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. There have been times when we’ve struggled, when things haven’t turned out quite right. There have been times when Greg (I suspect many Musical Directors will recognise this) has wanted to tear his hair out because we’ve had trouble with something that should have been straightforward. But equally, there has been the joy of us suddenly mastering something, out of the blue it seems, that we could have been expected to find difficult. Greg again: ‘Sometimes the people in the choir seem to surprise themselves. They will be working on something quite complex and suddenly it all slots into place and there’s a beautiful sound.’

The sense of fun, though, does seem to show through to our audiences. After one performance, a surprised audience member was overheard to say: ‘They’re like a proper choir, but more fun.’ I don’t know what her expectations of us or her experience of other choirs had been, but it feels like we should wear the comment as a badge of pride.

We’ve performed for a variety of charities and community events. And we’ve collaborated with other musicians: brass bands, percussionists, recorder players and other choirs. We’ve featured drums and guitar on a couple of occasions. We’ve performed in music venues, pubs, community halls and in the open air. We’ve performed in a number of churches at funerals, weddings, carol concerts and light a candle services.

To subsidise the costs of the charity events and to raise funds towards the running of the choir, we normally mount two paying performances a year; one in the summer and one just before Christmas, with the winter concert being full of Christmas cheer and audience participation.

The Covid pandemic caused considerable disruption to the choir, as it did to life in general. The choir suspended its activities on the 12th March 2020 for 3 weeks, but things rapidly changed, and we actually did not resume until 2nd September 2021.

​We resumed with considerably fewer members, and whilst we intended working towards a Christmas concert, it soon became apparent that we would not be ready in the time available. We did however, join the congregation at St Lukes Church in Shireoaks for their Carol Service on the 12th December 2021.

We managed a charity concert in May 2022, a full concert at Worksop Town Hall in July and sang with St Lukes for their Remembrance Service in November. This was Greg’s last event as Musical Director, and Jennifer Demicheli stepped up to take on the role of Musical Director.

Under the direction of Jen the choir continues to develop its repertoire. She has brought in lots of new music alongside some of existing favourites. We even get to choose the pieces for our concerts.

In January 2023 Amy Wright joined us as Accompanist, and in August 2023 became Assistant Musical Director. 

Jen and Amy are a fabulous double act, always encouraging us. They are so patient and are always smiling, even when things aren’t going quite right! 

We currently have 47 members, and like most choirs, could desperately do with more men! 

Assistant Musical Director: Jennifer Demichelli

Jennifer Demichelli.jpg
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