Scole choirmaster Michael Dann helps form new military wives choir

A military wives choir in Suffolk, supported by a �1,000 donation by the Royal British Legion, has performed for the first time.

Wattisham Military Wives' Choir, which is led by local choirmaster Michael Dann, of Scole, near Diss, has brought together wives and girlfriends from the base to support each other through a shared love of singing.

The choir, at Wattisham Airfield, was set up in January by Sally Wilkinson while her husband, Captain Phil Wilkinson, was serving in Afghanistan and it regularly has 35 women turning up for weekly rehearsals.

Mrs Wilkinson said: 'I was inspired by the TV show [The Choir] and just wanted to do something to bring wives at Wattisham together, to both have fun and look after each other while our husbands are away on operations.

'It has started off a real buzz around the camp and a lot of new friendships have been made. One or two women have a musical background, but most of us started from nothing more than singing in the shower.' The group had its first performance at a function in the officers' mess earlier this month. Mr Dann also runs singing groups - Discord - in Diss, Attleborough, and Thetford.

Colin Hawkins, the Legion's Suffolk county chairman, said: 'We're delighted to support the Wattisham Military Wives' Choir. Soldiers' wives suddenly become single-parent families when their husbands deploy and the choir is a great way for them to support each other and it sounds fantastic too.'

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