Royston and South Cambs a cappella singers look ahead to USA contest

PUBLISHED: 17:01 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 28 September 2018

Members of Phoenix Chorus from Royston and Steeple Morden, Back row L-R Davina Calbraith, Vicky Hutter, Debbie Fisher, Cathy Carlin & Sarah Ludwick and front row, Christine Vallely, Paula Davies, Melanie Downie and Angie Skipper. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

Members of Phoenix Chorus from Royston and Steeple Morden, Back row L-R Davina Calbraith, Vicky Hutter, Debbie Fisher, Cathy Carlin & Sarah Ludwick and front row, Christine Vallely, Paula Davies, Melanie Downie and Angie Skipper. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

Archant

Nine women from Royston and South Cambs are to join more than 60 others to compete in an international a cappella championships in the USA.

Phoenix Chorus president Fiona McGlashan. Picture: Phoenix ChorusPhoenix Chorus president Fiona McGlashan. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

Nine women from Royston and South Cambs are to join more than 60 others to compete in an international a cappella championships in the USA.

Fiona McGlashan joined in 2008 and is now is the president of Phoenix Chorus – who have members from Royston and Steeple Morden, and practise over the county border in Potton.

They are heading to St Louis for the Sweet Adelines International Barbershop Competition on October 18.

The female barbershop group went to the same competition in Hawaii in 2007 and Las Vegas in 2015, and both times finished 20th in the world.

Lynda Wood is the musical director of Phoenix Chorus. Picture: Phoenix ChorusLynda Wood is the musical director of Phoenix Chorus. Picture: Phoenix Chorus

Fiona said: “We have more than 70 members now, and are competing with choruses with 100-plus members on stage.

“The best part of being involved with Phoenix Chorus is having a group of ladies who are abolsute genuine friends – those girls would do anything for you.

“We’ve had ladies who have sadly had husbands pass away and they turn to people in the chorus.

“We get so much out of it. With singing when you get on those rises you can’t think about anything else, so all those problems of the day have to go away for those two and a half hours.

“With the group, you know if you want to talk about something you can but, if you don’t, no one is going to pry. It’s an amazing sisterhood.

“We have a lady called Maggi Cheshire, who has been here 40 years and was one of the founding members in 1978.

“We also have members in their 20s up to their 80s, so it spans the generations and we all get on so well.

“Age is no barrier because we all have the same goal – it’s fantastic.”

Having performed at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre at the weekend, the group’s focus is now moving to the US gig.

“We’ve just had an amazing show in Stevenage,” said Fiona.

“That was an incredible night, and as part of that show we sung all the songs we will sing in St Louis – so it was our dress rehearsal.

“We want to go better than that that we achieved last time. We’d love to get in the top 10 and on a good day we can. A top-15 finish would be amazing.”

The group practise every Tuesday from 7.45pm until 10.15pm at Potton Lower School in Bedfordshire and are open to potential new members going along to find out more.

Go to phoenixladies.co.uk for more information.

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