MEMBERS of the Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir are looking forward to a busy year as they celebrate the group’s second anniversary.
The choir was set up by Carol Musgrove and Jannene Crawford, who wanted to create a community group for women connected with the military on Salisbury Plain.
They were inspired by the success of Gareth Malone’s Military Wives Choir, which featured in a television series in 2011 before scooping the Christmas number one in the charts.
The Salisbury Plain choir has since performed at hundreds of events locally and further afield, and raised more than £100,000 for various charities including Help for Heroes, BLESMA and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do but it sort of came to us,” said Mrs Musgrove. “We had no plan and we’ve done amazing things. It’s been an absolutely amazing journey, which we hope will carry on.”
The choir’s engagements have included singing with Cliff Richard and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Leeds Castle, for the Chelsea Pensioners, and at Buckingham Palace.
They have recorded with Gary Barlow as well as singing locally at hundreds of events in and around the Salisbury Plain, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympics celebrations in Salisbury.
Naomie Brown joined the Salisbury Plain choir from another military wives choir when she moved to the area. “It’s absolutely brilliant,” she said. “What’s so wonderful is that I was very nervous moving to a new area and making new friends but here you’ve got an instant connection. It’s what we need and it’s fantastic.”
Pianist Kate Mason said: “I’ve been an army wife for a while and found there was nothing to do. It’s nice to do something for yourself, rather than being mummy and an army wife.”
Angela Carey added: “It’s like a second family. It really lifts your spirits and you leave on such a high.” And Jemma Bennett said being a member of the choir has given her a huge confidence boost.
“I used to stay at home on my own being a mum and wife, and didn’t have any other hobbies. But now I love it. I’ve met so many people. My husband noticed a real change in me,” she said. The group can be followed on Twitter @Salsplainmwc or search Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir on Facebook.