'We just had to find ways' - Choir keeps spirits high in Covid

Pakefield Singers recording during First Light Festival – Winter Solstice.

Pakefield Singers recording during First Light Festival – Winter Solstice. Picture: Adam MJ Barnes- Photography - Credit: Adam MJ Barnes- Photography

Singing on the beach, in front of a church, outdoors and during group sessions on Zoom.

Popular choir Pakefield Singers has been intent on continuing to sing during "a year like no other" in 2020.

And despite the challenges, the Lowestoft-based group has kept singing in many different ways.

Pakefield Singers enjoying a beach picnic in August 2020.

Pakefield Singers enjoying a beach picnic in August 2020. Picture: Pakefield Singers - Credit: Pakefield Singers

During the Covid lockdowns and restrictions members have continued to meet regularly, either online or in person - with Zoom rehearsals regularly held and two lockdown videos created.

One of the videos was chosen by Making Music for an online concert of choirs from all over the UK.


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A spokesman for Pakefield Singers said: "Each singer and player recorded their part individually, and these were then expertly stitched together by sound engineer, Paul Johnson.

"An added bonus was that these videos raised money for our local hospital." 

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The year ended, excitingly, with a group from the choir being filmed singing a new song by John Ward, commissioned by the First Light Winter solstice project.

In the summer the group was able to sing together at two beach picnics, in front of Pakefield Church where it usually has its practices.

Outdoor rehearsals on three Saturday afternoons in September were enjoyed in the idyllic setting of Benacre Hall.

Pakefield Singers enjoying an outdoor rehearsal in September 2020.

Pakefield Singers enjoying an outdoor rehearsal in September 2020. Picture: Pakefield Singers - Credit: Pakefield Singers

Four modified indoor rehearsals in the church were also completed with numerous stringent measures in place.

Chairman Christine Mason said: “Yes, it is a lot of work for our committee, especially keeping up with all the changes, but so worthwhile to enable people to sing and boost their morale.”

Under the expert leadership of conductor, Vetta Wise, it was a hugely rewarding year nonetheless.

She said: “This has been a frustrating year, with all our original performance plans in tatters, but from the start choir members were so supportive and determined to keep going that we just had to find ways to sing.

"It remains challenging but we always make sure we have something to work towards and will keep going, singing in whatever ways we can, until we can present concerts and sing together to our audiences again."

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