Super-group of military WAGS choir and Swaledale bands forms to raise cash for Help for Heroes and Phoenix House

Darlington and Stockton Times: Military WAGS Choir Military WAGS Choir

A SUPERGROUP of brass bands and a military choir has been formed to raise cash for Help for Heroes, with the launch of its CD at a celebration concert.

The Military WAGS Choir Catterick, together with Muker and Reeth bands have joined forces to record Harmonies For Heroes in aid of Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison, which helps sick, injured and wounded service personnel and veterans.

The project stemmed from a song, Dancing With You, written by Yorkshire Dales resident Jill Lundberg several months ago.

She said: “As a forces wife for 17 years, my lyrics were inspired by the experiences of military wives and girlfriends, and how singing and music helps them cope when their partners are away from home.”

The song was performed in the summer by Five Pearls and a Piano, a group Mrs Lundberg sings with, and was heard by Phoenix House centre manager Mo Usman.

Mrs Lundberg said: “His chance comment - you should ask the Military WAGS to record that - led to a great community project evolving, in aid of Help For Heroes, with Carol Gedye, musical director of the WAGS choir, suggesting inviting the bands of Swaledale get involved.”

The CD and recording were sponsored by several businesses and individuals including Mark Stephenson, CEO of PWS and Second Nature who, as well as being a trustee of the WAGS Choir, has donated four self-help kitchens to Phoenix House.

As well as selling the Harmonies For Heroes CD locally and online, via the Military WAGS website, the track Dancing With You will be released as a single for download.

Ms Gedye, co-producer of the project, said: “I have conducted the WAGS Choir since its inception nearly four years ago.

“It has been a humbling experience watching how all these lovely ladies cope with the strain and absence of their husbands on tours of Afghanistan and seeing the welfare and physical benefits singing and being part of a choir can bring.”

Mrs Lundberg added: “We have been overwhelmed with the generous offers of support for the project.

“Having experienced first-hand the wonderful work of Phoenix House Recovery Centre, through my involvement with the supply of the self-help kitchens, it has been so rewarding to unite my love of music and singing to raise money for this great charity.”

The concert, at Richmond School on Saturday, March 15, at 7.30pm, will include performances from the WAGS Choir, Muker and Reeth bands and students of Richmond School, and compere for the evening will be The Northern Echo editor Peter Barron.

The newspaper yesterday (Wednesday, February 19) launched an appeal to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War by raising £100,000 to create a performing arts facility at Phoenix House.

Advance tickets for the concert cost £10 for adults and £4 for children and are available from Castle Hill Bookshop, Richmond Tourist Information Office, Richmond School, Reeth Post Office, The Wobbly Dog in Leyburn and at www.militarywagschoir.co.uk. For updates follow @H4Hharmonies on Twitter.

Comments (1)

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6:29am Thu 20 Feb 14

grandmab says...

Too bad it is in the evening. Means those of us who use the bus cannot go unless we cadge a lift.
Too bad it is in the evening. Means those of us who use the bus cannot go unless we cadge a lift. grandmab

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