Alfreton Ladies Choir

75th Birthday Celebrations

Having discovered that Sonara Singers was possibly the second oldest ladies choir in England and Wales, the committee decided to put on a very special concert to celebrate its 75 years. All the members felt that the evening should reflect all that is good about its history and tradition.

So on April 21st 2012, everyone got together to create an evening we would never forget. To recreate the inauguration meeting, all the choirs’ guests were treated to a 1930’s tea with special cakes before the concert. These were created by choir member Cath and her partner John along with a very special cake which was cut by Chairman Lorna Brooks during the interval.

The choir’s programme was introduced by compere Richard Moulder who in his own indomitable style, kept the evening going with good humour. The songs were chosen to highlight the past seven decades as well as featuring special commissioned compositions. Richard also linked the evening to famous events which celebrated 75 years such as Maltesers, the Canadian Mint, the opening of the Golden Gate at San Francisco and Shirley Bassey!

Sonara were delighted to be joined by flautist James Wilson who has appeared with the choir on many occasions. Now a student at the Leeds College of Music, James represented many of the young musicians that the choir has invited to perform with them in the past twenty years giving them all an opportunity to play as professional musicians.

Long serving members were recognised when presentations of engraved vases were made to Sandra Sharpe 42 years, Carol Chamberlain 35 years, Eileen Davis 32 years and Teresa Mills, our accompanist, 31 years. Our Chairman, Lorna, having clocked up 57 years, was also presented with a large bouquet as she already has her engraved bowl!

Towards the end of the evening, three altos Kate, Carol and Sandra, performed a short piece dedicated to the choir that recorded some of the humorous events that had happened over the years, of which there have been many! Many of us remember the civic ceremony in Alfreton where the band and organist both played two verses of the National Anthem, unfortunately in two different keys. The choir went with the band since they were the loudest!

With a formal toast to the future of the choir, the concert ended on a positive note recognising that as they continue into the second decade of the 21st century with sixty members, they are stronger than ever as Sonara Singers, Simply Women Who Sing!