40 years for Judith's choir

Redditch Advertiser: Judith Land founder of Alcester Male Voice Choir. SP Judith Land founder of Alcester Male Voice Choir. SP

THE new year marks the 40th anniversary of a town institution, the Alcester Male Voice Choir.

The 80 plus strong choir performs regularly around the country, taking part in all sorts of community events and charity fundraisers.

It is the brainchild of former Alcester Grammar music teacher Judith Land, who founded the choir with several pupils and their fathers after moving to the area from Wales.

She said: “I was brought up with singing in the choir and the school choir, it was constant in my life and in my family. I’m not a trained singer, I play piano and flute, but when I started teaching I found out the easiest way of teaching was through song.

“I really enjoying bringing the best out of other people; children in the school, students in colleges, I enjoy encouraging them. It’s a special kind of camaraderie, it makes a difference.”

Mrs Land, who now works as conductor for the choir, is always on the lookout for new members.

She added: “I’ve never turned anyone away. I always find that if I give them the trust and they can persevere, they either like it or they don’t. They either stay, or they leave if they find it too much.

“I think the main thing is they have a desire to sing, they’re available for our rehearsals, they like our repertoire and they feel they would fit in. If they like all of that and giving their time up for charity concerts then they tend to fit.”

Over the years the choir has performed everywhere from street parties to the Royal Albert Hall as well as making an appearance on the BBCs Countryfile at Ragley Hall.

“I thoroughly enjoy it, their inspiration and their enthusiasm keeps me going,” said Mrs Land. “It’s a very big part of my life and it’s because I worked as hard as I can at it, and the more audiences show appreciation the more I want to do.

“We’ve performed at the Royal Albert Hall, and at cathedrals in Perugia, Germany, and Brittany. At Florence cathedral we took part in mass, and at the end we were thanked and everyone stood up and applauded us, that was wonderful we weren’t expecting that.

“I have no idea what will be in the future. The future will take care of itself. Who knows what opportunities might be there.”

The choir has a gala concert planned in April at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. Tickets can be booked online at alcestermvc.org/ or by calling Mrs Land on 07860 379668.

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