Back in 2002 Serendipity, Hadleigh Choral Society’s smaller choir, performed at its first event, a wedding at Little Glemham church. Since then, the choir has gone from strength to strength and this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Nansi Browne leads Serendipity and is very proud of its achievements.
“In addition to performing our own concerts, we are also invited to sing at weddings, funerals, memorials and other special services. We feel very privileged to be part of such occasions. When a family contact us they often need a little help with the choice of music and its suitability. We can chat over coffee and come up with some ideas. Serendipity is essentially a chamber choir, but we tackle the whole musical range, from Take That to the works of John Rutter or Handel’s Zadok the Priest.”
Speaking to Nansi, it is very clear that the heart of Serendipity and its purpose is community and supporting families, particularly when it comes to planning funerals.
“With any funeral our primary aim is to swell the singing in church so that bereaved families can get some comfort from hearing their chosen hymns filling every corner of the church and engaging with the congregation. We are happy to be the back-up if a family needs us for the hymns but also perform songs that have a special meaning or evoke happy memories for the family. I remember one particular performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was very moving and gave everyone in the church a few moments to reflect.”
Another part of Serendipity’s real purpose relates to working with the Dementia Action Alliance Group. Prior to the pandemic the choir would join the local group for a sing along which was hugely beneficial for both dementia sufferers and their carers, and very rewarding for the singers as well.
“Working with Dementia Action Alliance in Hadleigh was really worthwhile and we hope to pick this up again as the COVID restrictions are lifted. Musical memories stay with us for much longer than other memories. A familiar tune can light up a dementia sufferer and trigger really positive responses.”
I chatted with Nansi whilst we both enjoyed a cuppa. Our dogs were becoming restless wanting their dinner as we moved the conversation from the choir to our own musical talents, or lack of them in my case! We said goodbye promising to chat again as we agreed the power of music and its impact on us all, particularly at certain milestones in our lives, was far too big a topic for just one cup of tea.
If you would like to know more about Serendipity, or wish to book them for an event, then please contact Nansi Browne: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 07773 034635.
Tickets for the Hadleigh Choral Society Spring Concert on Saturday 2 April at St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh are now available. Visit www.hadleighchoralsociety.org.ukfor further details.