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Marham choir features on festive album

PUBLISHED: 09:19 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 17 October 2016

RAF Marham military wives choir: Pictures Brian Sadler

RAF Marham military wives choir: Pictures Brian Sadler

Brian Sadler Photography

The Military Wives are back and the beautiful voices of nearly 50 women from a Norfolk RAF station feature on new recordings to be released for Christmas.

Home for Christmas, a collection of 12 carols and songs, features the voices of 1006 wives, from 65 choirs across the UK and overseas.

All the choirs can be heard on the title track Home for Christmas, and the album also features six classic carols which have been updated with lyrics reflecting what Christmas means to women in the military community.

Mother-of-one Gemma Riley, 31, joined the Military Wives Choir Marham three years ago and is now chairman.

Nicknamed the Bluebirds, the choir consists of 48 women, 60pc of whom must be wives of active service personnel or serving personnel themselves.

Miss Riley said: “I’m ex-military and my partner’s still in the RAF at Marham. It can be lonely and the choir is made up of a great group of girls/women.

“The Home For Christmas album recording took place at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. We also recorded the song O Holy Night for the album with three other choirs, Wattisham, Wimbish and Wyton/Brampton.”

She said group singing enabled the women from the military community to come together and focus on matters outside their everyday activities. She added: “Choirs provide opportunities for women to make new friends, share information, and provide support for one another. Singing keeps us stronger together. “

The album will be released on November 25 and the title track as a single on December 2. To accompany the releases, 17 choirs, including RAF Marham, are taking part in performances at cathedrals across the country.

Miss Riley said: “We are singing in Norwich alongside Wattisham and Honington on November 26. All concerts start at 7.30pm and tickets are available on Ticketmaster.

“The programme will include music from the album, plus traditional Christmas favourites and well-loved military wives choirs repertoire.”

Sue Daniels, chairman of Military Wives Choirs’ Foundation, said: “We are delighted with the continued achievements and growth of the military wives choirs network. The festive season can be a difficult time, particularly for those within the military community.

“By creating Home for Christmas, military wives are supporting each other through music – and extending this unity to families throughout the UK, and across the world.”

Has your music group achieved special success? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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