Churchill Retirement Living choir raises the roof

A choir of retired Owners from five of Churchill Retirement Living’s Lodges across Dorset brought the house down at their first concert in Southbourne.

The Churchill Millstream Choir was formed earlier this year by choir master and voice coach Ali Sharpe, who lives at Dean Lodge in Southbourne. Ali issued a rallying call for fellow Owners at Churchill’s Lodges to join her new choir and was overwhelmed by the amount of budding singers who put themselves forward.

The 20-strong choir performed their Spring Concert at Dean Lodge on Grange Road in front of friends and family, and are now planning many more events over the coming months following its success.

Ali said: “Churchill approached me to see if we could get a choir going with people from a few different Lodges in the area. I thought it would be a lovely idea – singing is so good for you and it’s a chance for people to socialise whilst enjoying a hobby. So I said yes and we started the process of seeing who was interested.

I was delighted to find that we have about 20 people from five local Lodges and we have been able to launch CMC – the Churchill Millstream Choir. We have met every Wednesday and I am thrilled with the quality of the singing and the enthusiasm. Some people sing regularly, but others haven’t sung since school, so it’s really exciting to get them all together.

Roger Turner, Owner at Priory Lodge in Christchurch, has joined the choir. He said: “There are few better pleasures in life than making music together and meeting new friends. Singing in the recently formed Churchill choir gives us the advantage of having a professional leader and voice coach. I am experiencing a new source of joy. It’s wonderful.”

Phillip Geise, Lifestyle Events Manager for Churchill Retirement Living, helped to set up the choir. He said: “We were so pleased to be able to get the choir off the ground and we are looking at starting choirs in our different regions across the country. If it goes well, we have even thought about a charity Christmas single!”

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