Jubilate Ladies Choir is celebrating its 30th anniversary and can now boast more than 40 members, many of whom have been singing with the choir since its inception in 1969.
The group's name, which is Latin for celebration, reflects the approach to singing, as musical director Sarah Stroh (pictured ) explains: "We perform for pleasure - both ours and other people's! Being in a choir is all about being part of a team and all of us love singing together as a group. We thrive on each other's energy, enthusiasm and passion."
Jubilate Ladies Choir, based in Harrow, believes variety is the spice of life and has an impressive repertoire, taking in everything from classical to contemporary, a cappella to African Chant and pop to psalms. This versatile and experimental approach led to a first place in the Ladies Choir class at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts in 2008, and first place at the 2007 Watford Festival.
They have even appeared on stage at Wembley Arena as backing singers for none other than Barry Manilow!
Sarah, who is also a freelance singer and a singing teacher, was keen to spread the seeds of the choir's success, and last September, Jubilate Juniors was spawned from its adult counterpart.
Aimed at children aged seven to 11 (school years three to six), the choir, affectionately known as JJs, already numbers more than 15 and Sarah is keen to continue recruiting new members. She said: "The reason we started JJs is because so many of the ladies' children were so interested in singing - they really twisted my arm and I eventually realised what a great idea it was!
"JJs meets every other Saturday afternoon and they do lots of singing games, using their bodies as well as their voices. They sing songs from all over the world, as well as numbers from musicals, including The Sound of Music, Oliver! and The Lion King, and also songs written especially for choirs.
"It's a great way for children to spend their afternoons and everyone is welcome. All you need is a water bottle and a pencil - apart from energy, commitment, enthusiasm, that is. We are particularly keen to
expand our membership and it is not essential that people live in Harrow - our members live all over London, some as far away as Barnet." * Jubilate Juniors is hosting a fun, informal singing session on Saturday from 3pm to 4.30pm, when everyone is welcome to go and try out the choir for themselves - and it's free! Rehearsals for spring start the following week.
Go to the hall of Christ Church, in Roxeth Hill, Harrow, HA2 0JN or contact the choir's manager, Ninoska Leppard, by calling 07967 810 210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.