Looking to meet new people, have some fun and sing your heart out? Then the Golden Square Singers could be just the group for you.
Now in its third year, the Golden Square Singers is a community choir founded by Cat Neill, Alan Rowland and Judith Maud.
At the age of nine Cat lost all confidence in singing when she was asked to leave the school choir! Many years later she decided to take singing lessons to redress this injustice and, after a few months, her confidence had grown enough for her to want to sing with a group.
Existing local choirs were still too experienced for her but not to be deterred, with encouragement from her singing teacher, she decided to start her own community choir, originally called Take Note.
Since then the choir has flourished and welcomes new members; experienced and non-confident singers alike. Some of the newest members have not sung with a group since school days.
The membership is mixed but united with the common aim: to sing, improve singing and have fun in a friendly, relaxed but focussed environment.
“It’s open to everyone, even if you haven’t sang for years or are a beginner - you will never be made to feel stupid!” Cat says. “It’s great fun, and it’s very good for you to be singing.
“There’s lots of levels of experience, but together we are really quite good!”
“There’s definitely a social element to this choir,” adds member Richard Yeo. “It has a really nice atmosphere.” The repertoire is wide and varied. After a warm up of musical sounds and made up pieces, the evening could include light hearted traditional pieces, more modern works, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, for example, and more demanding 17th century pieces.
The Golden Square Singers have staged several successful concerts, the latest at the Watchtower gallery at the closing of Heather Fisher’s ‘The Visible Reminder of Invisible Light’ exhibition.
The choir is ably led by Martin Fisher, who has music running in his veins; as well as voice his instruments include keyboard, saxophone and guitar.
Martin’s music career started at Winchester College where he was a ‘Quirister’ for three years. This was followed by two and a half years as a chorister at The Temple Church in London. He then had a career in teaching and his enthusiasm and skill inspired many up and coming young musicians.
In 2001 he moved to Wooler and joined the Northumberland Music Service teaching in local schools and leading community choirs in Alnwick and Berwick. Since retirement in 2007 he has led the Crookham Cuckoo choir and now The Golden Square Singers as well as doing vocal and instrumental arrangements and compositions and private singing lessons.
The Golden Square Singers, which meets every Wednesday evening, has an open rehearsal on Wednesday, November 12, at the Baptist Church Hall, Golden Square, Berwick, from 7.30 to 9.30pm, where you are assured of a warm welcome.