By Anne Vetch
Buckden Singers is a non -auditioned Community choir open to all. A group of twelve villagers came together in January 2007, simply to enjoy the experience of singing. From there, we have expanded to a four- part choir of just over 40 people: 93 people have passed through our ranks at various times: our youngest member was 9 and our oldest 84.
We come from all parts of the Dales communities, from all walks of life and have varied experiences and knowledge of music: some have formal qualifications, others had never seen a piece of music until they joined us. I myself have no musical training, or formal qualification, although I have been running choirs for more than 25 years.
Until the recent Covid 19 outbreak we met weekly during term time in Buckden Village Institute.
We sing a wide variety of music from Pop to Opera, from Classical to Gospel, from Musicals to Sacred. We generally perform at Christmas, and in the summer in our own concerts in Buckden Institute, at St. Michael’s Hubberholme, and St. Margaret’s Threshfield.
In addition, we have supported worship at both Churches and occasionally sing at weddings and funerals. We have sung in a huge variety of venues from the Dickensian in Grassington, to the Armed Forces Day in Skipton, from the Methodist Chapel in Hebden, to the Madeleine in Paris.
We have had some extremely exciting times: possibly the most memorable was appearing in several episodes of the ITV series ‘The Dales’ alongside Ade Edmondson. We also featured in the BBC series ‘In England’s Green and Pleasant Lands’ with Selena Scott and Radio 3’s ‘Meet my Choir.’
One of our guiding principles is that above all we should be, and I hope are, a supportive group, and though singing and making music is our purpose, we also have fun together and help each other out when the need arises. Singing of course has multiple benefits for physical and mental health, and emotional well-being which Is why I personally miss it so much at the present time.
We had our last rehearsal on March 7th, 2020 and since then have been meeting virtually, via Zoom, largely to chat, share musical highlights, share quizzes, and do some virtual recording. The majority of the choir have been willing and able to participate in these sessions and they have been good for keeping us together with a shared purpose.
Sadly, singing has also proven to be one of the most ‘dangerous’ activities in which to engage in terms of spreading infection so it may be some time before we can meet to have full rehearsal. I am considering various possibilities as I write!