Some current members              

   Meet the Choir

Sarah (Soprano)

Occupation Primary School Teacher

Earliest choral experience Newport Pagnell Church Choir (aged 7)

Other singing experiences Bishops Chorister, Bath Abbey Choir, Gloucester University Choir, London School of Music Singing Grade 8 plus Welsh Nanna and Italian Great Grandpa so it’s in the blood. (Dad has been a member for 26 plus years, too.)

Joined Danesborough Chorus 2010

Why I am still here I love the friendship, the music, the inspirational musical director and the standard we maintain and grow.

Favourite concert so far Haydn – The Seasons

My number 1 Desert Island disc The hymn – Guide Me, O though Great Redeemer (a special hymn for my family)

Away from all this, I love to spend time with my friends and family, go to zumba, visit national trust places, shopping, reading and generally enjoy life! 

Euan (Second Bass)

Occupation: Retired from the Open University

Earliest choral experience – 18 months as a boy chorister in my father's church choir (until my voice broke)

Other singing experiences: – Absolutely none until I joined the Danesborough Chorus exactly 50 years later. Everyone was very tolerant and helpful when I started (at one rehearsal I remember the person next to me pointing out gently that I was singing in the wrong octave.)

Joined Danesborough Chorus: 2003 – (persuaded by a friend who was a member that it would be a good retirement present to myself - he couldn't have been more right!)

Why I am still here: The two hour rehearsals on a Wednesday are a hgh point of my week (I have withdrawal symptoms during the summer break). Learning new music requires total concentration and gives a real sense of achievement.It's great to be a second bass and sing really low notes.Singing is really good for your health - I hope I can go on 'til I drop.

Favourite concert so far: Verdi's Requiem in the MK Theatre - what a thrill at the end of the first term I sang with the Danesborough. (I've sung it 7 times since then, mostly with other choirs.)

My number 1 Desert Island disc: The "libera me" from Verdi's Requiem

Away from all this, I love to: spend time with my grandchildren, travel, listen to live music (especially opera).


Tessa (Alto)

Occupation: Housewife

Earliest choral experience: Singing at primary school under the direction of the inimitable and inspiring Hilary Davan Wetton.

Other singing experiences: Barbershop quartet and chamber choir singing at a Saturday morning music school.  

Joined Danesborough Chorus: In 2006 but then took 4 years off when we moved abroad and rejoined in 2012. I had to re-audition and they actually let me back in!

Why I am still here: I enjoy the discipline of learning a new piece of music and the satisfaction of mastering it. Rehearsals are so mentally consuming they enable me to switch off from the call of ‘to do’ lists and give me a break from everyday life which beats a spa day hands down! Ian Smith cares about the individuals in the choir. He even recognised me from my school orchestral days even though he hadn't seen me for 30 years!

Favourite concert so far: Mass in Blue - I love the jazz harmonies and I am still humming the Benedictus!

My number 1 Desert Island disc: Warning – it’s not classical!! Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (for the amazing harmonies and contrasting styles). I’m sure that all of it is probably plagiarised from an earlier century but it’s still my favourite. Am I allowed to say that?

Away from all this, I love to: Cycle long distances on our road tandem

Les (Tenor)

Occupation: Retired from Banking and NHS Finance.

Earliest choral experience: St. John the Baptist Church choir, Harrow (aged 6).

Other singing experiences: I have sung with many choirs, as either a member or a guest, including National Westminster Choir (now City Chorus), London Symphony Chorus, Halesworth Festival Voices, Leighton Buzzard Festival Singers, Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir, Cantorion Monteverdi & Winchester University Choir, to name but a few. I have sung in many splendid venues from the Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican, Southbank & St. Johns Smith Square in London as well as Cathedrals, Churches, Town and Concert Halls across England and Wales. I have attended many Choral Summer Schools, Master classes and Choral Workshops and, for the last 16 years, I have attended the Charterhouse Summer School of Music (CSSM), now held at Sherborne in Dorset under the direction of John Huw Davies, where I sing with the Chamber Choir, and am Senior Steward.

Joined Danesborough Chorus: 2006

Why I am still here: In my opinion Danesborough Chorus, under the musical directorship of Ian Smith, inspires a good standard of choral music and is the best large choir in the region.

Favourite concert so far: That’s a difficult one but perhaps more recently it has to be the Danesborough Chorus performance of Mass in Blue composed and accompanied by Will Todd with his wife, Bethany Halliday, singing solo.

My number 1 Desert Island disc: Too many to pick just one but I am most interested in Early Music and A Cappella singing, but also enjoy the music of Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen.

Away from all this, I love to: walk in Devon or Wales (or anywhere where it is picturesque and quiet) and to listen to Classical music.