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Ely and Cambridge singers picked for Gareth Malone concert

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Sixty amateur singers from Cambridgeshire will enjoy the chance of a lifetime this Christmas after winning the chance to perform live with renowned choirmaster Gareth Malone.

Sing! Choirs from Ely and Cambridge have been chosen by music star Gareth for a one-off performance at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday December 8.

“We are excitedly practising and cannot wait for the show,” said choir leader Kathryn Rowland, who set up Sing! Choirs as a community group in 2011.

Gareth’s show, called Sing-along-a-Gareth, is touring nationally. Kathryn’s choir is celebrating the amazing opportunity to join his Cambridge performance after responding to a shout-out on Instagram.

“I saw that Gareth was asking for amateur choirs to join him and thought it was worth a try, even if it was a long shot,” said Kathryn. “We sent off videos of us singing and then had a chat with Gareth via Zoom, which was very exciting! We are over the moon to be chosen, as you can imagine.”

The evening will also be a chance to fund-raise for a very special musical charity that Kathryn runs locally.

Called All In Sound, the charity offers singing and music-making opportunities for hard-to-reach groups including a much-loved dementia choir in Ely called Sing! Together for both dementia patients and their carers.

“I was very cheeky and asked Gareth if we could shake buckets at the end of the show to collect for All In Sound and he has very kindly agreed,” said Kathryn.

Sing! Choirs will perform seven hits with Gareth in a show which encourages the audience to sing along. Choir member Andrea Cotton said she is excited but nervous at the prospect.

“I joined this choir with no singing experience and was amazed that there was no audition, everyone is welcome,” she said. “Kathryn is so encouraging and believes everyone can sing. I cannot quite believe that we will be on stage with Gareth Malone, singing along with a 2000-strong audience at the Corn Exchange. It should be quite a night.”

Over the years, Sing! Choirs have raised a great deal money for charity through fundraising concerts.

“As well as supporting our own charity, All in Sound, we have a special relationship with the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in Cambridge,” explained Kathryn.

“All together over the years we have raised over £42,000 for charity, £23,500 of which was for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and the rest for a selection of local charities including All In Sound, Addenbrookes Hospital and East Anglian Air Ambulance.

“We are very much hoping to raise a good amount at Sing-along-a-Gareth for our chosen charities on December 8.”

Kathryn explained that she has a lifelong passion for getting people to sing together and even managed to keep Sing! Choirs going during the pandemic.

“We moved on to Zoom which was a very different experience and in the case of some of our members took a lot of IT support initially. But it was a lifeline during the lockdowns as there is nothing like singing to raise your spirits.”

Sing-along-a-Gareth takes place on Thursday December 8 at The Cambridge Corn Exchange.

For tickets and information on Sing-a-Long-a-Gareth: www.garethmalone.com

 

 

 

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