Raunds Community Choir – A History.
We launched a poster campaign around the town in late 2009 and held our first meeting, to gauge the level of interest, in January 2010 at 7.30 in the community centre [St. Peter’s Community and Enterprise Centre, to give it its full title].
I expected 20 people to turn up but on the night I had to keep getting more chairs out as at least 40 people arrived!
In spite of many attempts, until that first night I didn’t have anyone to act as Musical Director but perhaps when she saw the eager assembled company Sally Beavis decided to give it a go – thank goodness she did. In fact she got us singing on that very first night.
Also on that first night Geraldine Johnson was persuaded to act as treasurer and for the first 3 or 4 months she and I did everything that needed to be done. Eventually though a proper committee was formed.
Our first performance was as a warm-up act prior to the main concert of the 2010 Raunds Music Festival. This took place on Sunday May 16th at the Saxon Hall. We had held our dress rehearsal in St Peter’s Church on Tuesday May 11th when we performed in front of our families and supporters.
In May 2010 we made a successful application to the Midland Co-op for a grant to pay for a piano, stand, stool and some music.
On June 4th Sally and I were interviewed on Radio Northampton about the choir. This came about because one of our members, Peter Newman, approached TV’s Look East. Also at this time we asked Manor School pupils for their help in designing a logo.
Finally, at the end our first very eventful year we held our first Christmas concert in the Saxon Hall. This has become our main annual concert and guest performers are invited to take part.
In early 2011 some of our members formed a dedicated fundraising subcommittee and following on from this we were awarded a grant of £980.40 from Northamptonshire County Council through Councillor Dudley Hughes. This was used to purchase music scores.
As well as our concert in the Methodist Church in May 2011 as part of Raunds Music Festival we held a concert in St Peter’s Church in July for the Friends of St Peter’s Church.
We became a registered charity in August 2011.
At Raunds Carnival in September 2011 two of our members, Rose Dent and Patience Brown held a stall to raise funds for purchase of music.
The fundraising committee organised a large raffle which was drawn at our Christmas concert that year. From the proceeds we were able to make substantial donations to Alzheimer’s Society and Manor School Sure Start. The committee also applied for inclusion in the Waitrose Community Matters charity which took place in July 2012 and we subsequently received £160.
Our involvement with Raunds Music Festival has continued each year and we hold an afternoon performance on the Saturday of the festival. We regularly visit residential homes to sing and we sang at Stanwick Lakes on a cold, damp evening in December 2012 to take part in their winter solstice event.
The choir continues to go from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing it develop further in the future.
Anne E Houghton