28/02/2023 | Press releases

Celebrating 10 years of hitting the right notes

A well-respected choir which brings together keen amateur singers and NHS staff is celebrating its 10th anniversary by performing some much-loved favourites during a special charity concert.

Ipswich Hospital Community Choir was set up in January 2013 following a rise in the popularity of workplace choirs spearheaded by TV choirmaster Gareth Malone. More than 70 people squeezed into the hospital chapel to take part in its first sing-along, with the choir attracting both NHS staff and members of the community.

It has continued to hit the right notes ever since, and now has around 40 members who perform everything from Take That and Taylor Swift songs to Abba hits, musical theatre and classical pieces.

Ian Floodgate, lead pharmacist for oncology and haematology with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Ipswich Hospital, joined the choir in 2014 and is now its chair.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed singing with the choir over the years,” he said. “It gives people the chance to get together with others and socialise, and also has a hugely positive impact on wellbeing. I personally find it to be a great stress reliever – spending the evening singing is the perfect antidote to a busy day.

“We rehearse every week and perform as regularly as we can, sometimes alongside our friends in the Ipswich Hospital Band. A lot of our concerts take place in the festive season, and singing at the Christmas party held for ESNEFT’s volunteers is always one of our highlights. Last year we also sang at the fireworks display in Christchurch Park and for three St Elizabeth Hospice events, and had some lovely feedback from our audiences.

“Our performances also help to support local charities, and we have raised £2,000 for hospital causes over the past 10 years. We will be marking our anniversary year with a special concert at St Peter’s by the Waterfront, which will raise money for the Children’s Appeal at Ipswich Hospital and the Jess Grant Celebration, which helps young patients to enjoy music while they are unwell.

“We are also keen to attract new members of all abilities to the choir. Both hospital colleagues and local people are welcome and we are a very friendly bunch, so please do come along and join the fun.”

The choir meets every Wednesday at 6.15pm in the Courtyard Restaurant at Ipswich Hospital. For more information on joining the choir or to contact the choir for a performance, visit the Ipswich Hospital Choir website (Opens in a new window)

The celebration concert takes place in partnership with the St Peter’s Band on Saturday April 22 2023 at 7.30pm.

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