How long have you been in Chorus ,what section do you sing and what role/s do you play?
SUE: 27 years! I joined on an open evening, we had a cup of tea while I listened to (and fell in love with) the Barbershop style. Within minutes Lynda told me to put my tea down and join the end of the front row! I auditioned a few weeks later (I sang my audition song twice because I loved doing it so much) and joined the chorus. I’ve sung tenor for about 24 of those years and I have moved across to the lead section now as my voice is changing as I get older.
I’m currently lead section leader which basically means that I manage the section (there are 26 leads at present) and I have 4 team leaders working with me so the section has structure. I’m also on the choreo team, developing presentation and showmanship for Chorus. I’m past President and Chairwoman and I have served on the committee for many years and I have always played a role in the fundraising efforts we do. I’m also a member of the music team.
Other singing activities?
SUE: I love to sing but I also love to learn, improve and stretch myself a bit! So I’m also in a quartet called Capella (I sing tenor in this quartet) and we competed in Ireland in October at our first contest.
What are your Highlight/s of being in Chorus?
SUE: I started singing competitively when I was 6 years old. I had the most wonderful head master, who when it came to music, he put his heart and soul into it. I guess I’ve always wanted to have his passion. What a man! I’ve sung in school choirs, community groups, Police Service choirs (I sang for the Duke of Wellington once!), Stevenage Ladies Choir and for a number of years I sang with the Hatfield Philharmonic (I probably should tell you that I can’t read music!)
I genuinely love my chorus. To me, it’s just like home. I can be whoever I want and the ladies in the chorus just take you for who you are. I’ve never known a nicer bunch of people who I can absolutely count on as dear friends. I do thoroughly enjoy competing and having a goal to work towards and in getting there, no two rehearsals are ever the same!
My favourite song is “Auld Lang Syne” it’s quite a dated piece which you rarely hear these days. Another favourite is “The masquerade is over” - two beautiful ballads. I also love Funky Rudolf, but don’t tell Lynda!
What would you say to anyone thinking of joining Phoenix?
SUE: Why would I join Phoenix? Because it’s a place where I can be me. I love to sing and I love to be with people who like to work hard at something and achieve goals. I’ve never been in a club quite like Phoenix, it’s a very special bunch of ladies indeed!
If you’re thinking of joining, do it! Don’t listen to us and think “crikey, I couldn’t do that” The truth is, you can do it, but like us, you don’t know until you try. You don’t have to be a music reader, you do need to be able to carry a tune, but there are four different voice parts to choose from. It’s quite a commitment to make, but I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it!