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17th July 2019

Ipswich Hospital Choir Hits the Right Note


A hospital choir that was only formed in January has sung its way to success by reaching the finals of a local talent show.

The Ipswich Hospital Community Choir, which was inspired by the BBC programme “The Choir”, is through to the finals of Ipswich Has Got Talent.

Nick Coleman, who is the choirmaster, and Alex Howell, whose wife works at the hospital, had previously been involved in a smaller choir.

ipshoschoir“We all felt that the hospital was a local institution close to the hearts of the people of Ipswich and the existence of a hospital choir could be great for presenting the hospital to the public in a positive way,” said Alex.

Choirmaster Nick added, “It is also very special for me because I am Ipswich born and bred. My family and I owe a significant debt of gratitude to the hospital team for the fantastic treatment we have received for some very serious medical conditions over many years. It is therefore great for me personally to be able to give something back.”

”I think music, more than anything else has a wonderful way of bringing people together and it is proving to be a really uplifting experience for all of us,” he added.

There are now 42 members that rehearse once a week in the hospital chapel on a Thursday evening.

At 86 years of age Yvonne Graves is the oldest member. She volunteers at the hospital.

“I’m so glad it started”, said Yvonne who has been singing for 40 years in a choir. The octogenarian sits in the front row as she cannot stand for long and has learned a number of modern pop songs.

“We’ve learned very very quickly, I love being in the choir. They treat me so well, they are all mates,” she added.

One of the youngest is 26 –year-old James Rowett who works in the Lung Function Unit. He said the choir is very friendly and means there are people he now greets in the hospital corridors.

James said the choir was fun and he thinks they sound “pretty good”.

Already the choir have made several public appearances. They sang in the entrance to the hospital during Dementia Awareness Week and will be taking part in the One Big Saturday Morning Open Event on 28 September, before taking to the stage for the IHGT finals on 26 October at The Regent in front of hundreds of people.

Alex explained that they are primarily a choir that “sing for the sake of singing and the pleasure it brings to its members”. There are no auditions “just the ability to hear music and carry a tune”.

The choir sings pop and show songs from the last 40 years.

Now they are on the lookout for more members from both inside and outside the hospital. They particularly need male singers of any vocal range.

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