More than 100 specially recruited women will take to the stage at Peterborough’s Broadway Theatre on Saturday to perform in the Sing for Life 2016 gala charity concert in support of Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice.
The event represents the culmination of a 12-week pop-up project run by award-winning women’s choir Peterborough Voices under the direction of William Prideaux and has engaged women of all ages and backgrounds from across the city and beyond, many of them with no previous singing experience whatsoever.
Having originally advertised for just 40 women to participate in the project, Sing for Life 2016 was inundated with singers wanting to get involved and - as in previous years - finally signed up over 100 diverse women (including this year’s Miss Peterborough) each with their own very personal motivation for taking part.
For some, Thorpe Hall Hospice and the exceptional care it provides have special significance, while others were looking for a personal challenge and new goals outside their comfort zone and some had simply always dreamed of joining a choir and jumped at the opportunity to do something about it. Whatever their reasons for joining – which are as varied as the women taking part - the project has proved a positively joyful experience across the board. Sophie from Thorney says: “It’s something to look forward to every week, I absolutely love it!”
Many of the Sing for Life 2016 women have got the singing bug and gone on to audition for Peterborough Voices and those who are successful will have lots to look forward to; not just the privilege of rehearsing and performing at the iconic theatre but also of singing in stellar musical company, which in 2017 will include world renowned brass band Brighouse and Rastrick as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra, among others. They will become “part of something amazing” in the words of Jo Cheung, who joined in 2012 and has never looked back. She said: “I’ve made some great friends doing something I love and that I still find exhilarating, challenging, hard work and utterly rewarding…long may it last.”
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice opened a fantastic new state-of-the-art facility last July at a cost of £6m and now needs to raise a staggering £7,500 a day just to cover running costs, providing incredible care for patients and their families.
Marina, from Yaxley, one of the Sing for Life 2016 women, says: “The kind of care Thorpe Hall provides is not just a job it’s a vocation, and being involved in a project supporting such a great cause really brings home the value of the work they do.”
Thorpe Hall’s Jo Mariott said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Sing for Life will be supporting us once again. This is a wonderful initiative to encourage people to try something new – members of Thorpe Hall staff have been involved in the past and they have enthused about the whole experience and the confidence it has given them.”
Sing for Life 2016 is at Peterborough’s Broadway Theatre at 7.30pm on Saturday. Tickets from Peterborough Visitor Information Centre, on 0333 666 3366 or at www.peterboroughvoices.org.uk