Buckingham choir that began in socially distanced times now ‘full of laughter’ and performing in public

‘As director of the choir, I always feel cheered by the joy I feel in the singing’
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A Buckingham wellbeing choir that started during the Covid pandemic has grown into a fun and mutually supportive group that is giving two public performances in July.

The Swan Singers meet in Buckingham, with the main aim of singing for wellbeing and good mental health.

The no-audition choir was started in September 2021 by choir director Lucy Bignall, who also runs the Adstock Singers.

The Swan SingersThe Swan Singers
The Swan Singers

Lucy said: “It was all socially distanced, and for many it was the first time they had ventured into the world since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Since those tentative beginnings, the group has grown to comprise 25 regular singers, who Lucy describes as “some of the most supportive people I've come across”.

She said: “Rehearsals are full of laughter and the WhatsApp group we share ricochets back and forth during the week with offers of help to those who have been flooded, or need lifts, or have been unwell.”

Lucy added: “All are welcome regardless of experience – it's all about learning and finding the beauty in the music as a group and our repertoire is eclectic, covering gospel, folk, classical, medieval canons, musical songs and even opera choruses. I don't think we've done any rap yet, but never say never!”

The choir meets weekly in BuckinghamThe choir meets weekly in Buckingham
The choir meets weekly in Buckingham

In the short time it has been running, the choir has given concerts at the Radcliffe Centre and in Adstock’s Community Orchard, known as Adstockistan, sung carols at Thrift Wood Christmas Tree Farm, performed in care homes, sung in Buckingham and Milton Keynes to raise money for the Ukraine crisis and taken part in two all-day singing workshops.

Lucy said: "As director of the choir, I always feel cheered by the joy I feel in the singing as I stand before the group.”

The Swan Singers will be performing at the Cosgrove Canal Festival on July 22, and on July 23 they are giving a concert entitled Songs of Summer in the Scout Hut at Embleton Way, at 3pm. All are welcome - the choir is asking for a £5 donation to cover costs and any profit made will go to the charity Brain Tumour Research, founded in Padbury.

For more information about the Swan Singers, contact Lucy by email.

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