“When I was a painfully shy eleven year old, the music teacher at school made me stand in front of the class and sing on my own. I was struck dumb with terror and couldn’t sing a note. Whereupon she gave me a D- and told me I was rubbish. Henceforth I have almost never sung at all……. I wish I could have told my eleven year old self that one day I would be singing Handel’s glorious music at the Opera House with such an illustrious company!” – Anon
“I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I’ve always loved singing and used to sing in a number of choirs when I was younger and when I saw the article about your adult choir, I couldn’t resist trying to take part. Singing with the choir has given me so much pleasure… However tired I felt before starting, I always felt exhilarated by the end, and although I was shattered after the final performance, I felt such a sense of achievement and pride. Singing in your choir has given me the confidence to feel that I can start to rebuild my social life and take part in the activities that I love.” – AR 2017
“Feeling Euphoric! Still wandering round humming all the fabulous tunes you taught us… It was a fantastic experience, even listening to the Orchestra tuning up in the wings, and when we actually sang …..it was, well , …… Wonderful…Councillor!!” – AB 2017
“I had not sung in a choir since primary school when I signed up for the Kinder Messiah chorus. At the first rehearsal I felt totally overwhelmed and thought I would never be able to hold my part or familiarise myself with the huge amount of music involved. It just seemed an impossible task. Experiencing Joyce at work was a great privilege and under her expert tutelage we soon began to make improvements and feel more capable.
The concert itself was really the experience of a lifetime. The whole day, from going through the stage door for the first time to rehearse, to the standing ovation at the end, is one I will remember forever. Being on the stage at the beautiful Buxton Opera House with such amazing soloists and the brilliant musicians from the Halle & BBC Phil was just fantastic and I surprised myself by not feeling at all nervous. I loved every minute of it.” – H R 2017
A few months before joining the chorus I had taken early retirement from social work, after thirty years in social care……….it was an extremely difficult job to leave. The timing of the Messiah chorus couldn’t have been better in terms of it having such a therapeutic effect, as I’m sure many will agree.
“My Dad, who is a musician and was a choirmaster for many years, said he was actually almost moved to tears on several occasions. He knows the Messiah well and had to stop himself from singing along out loud!” – CH 2017
“It was so good for two strangers dropping in at the last moment to be made to feel so welcome by the choir – this is far from the norm in choral circles!”– C& J Moore 2017
“Singing with the orchestra was amazing and just being in the same room as them was a joy. I enjoyed the challenge of the choral work, which is a genre I’m not that familiar with” – JG 2017
“We both feel it was one of the best things we’ve ever done – in fact just want to do it all over again!”- J& M M 2017
“My memory of this is that at around the age of 10. Each year we had a carol service for pupils and parents. As part of that the music department coordinated the singing. I, presumably as the result of assessment by them, was put in the ‘remedial’ choir group…The net result however, was my personal assumption that I could not sing and thus would never be able to sing – until Joyce!!
The choir from the first attendance gave a sense of acceptance and inclusion from which came an increased personal confidence to have a go. In such a large group also, there was feeling that one could try and if mistakes came out they were largely swallowed up by the overall sound. However, in a short period of time it became apparent that being able to have a good go actually allowed rapid personal improvement and both satisfaction and much enjoyment from being able to contribute to the greater sound… An experience one could never buy but one that you could only have as result of the skill and talent and experience of the choir leader, Joyce.
Particularly pertinent for the Messiah I went with Kinder Choir from remedial to redeemable!” – DP 2017
“It was truly wonderful, one of the best experiences that I have been involved in. Starting with little or no experience of singing I have felt supported by you and have grown in confidence to sing. There are a few of us who seem to have been told at school (years ago) that you cannot sing and so didn’t… Anyhow I have found a voice, maybe not the best, but I do enjoy singing.
I feel privileged to have been able to sing in Buxton Opera House with professional orchestra and singers WOW!!” – HC -2017
“Singing Handel’s Messiah with the Kinder Chorus was a huge leap for me. I’d sung in a couple of ladies’ choirs some years ago, and more recently in Rock Choir, but this was a whole different ball game! I must admit that, at first, I thought it was going to be quite straightforward – after all, everyone knew the Hallelujah Chorus, didn’t they? I missed the first 3 rehearsals as I was away in Greece, so I just sang along merrily to Choraline tracks, being lulled into a false sense of security…Rehearsals were intense, but also great fun, and my respect for Joyce (already high) went up to a whole new level.
Then, to my joy, we discovered that my daughter, an ex-Kinder chorister (so very well-trained!), was free to join the chorus for the last 3 weeks of rehearsals and the concert. This was immensely helpful….It was also lovely for me to have my first (and probably last) opportunity to sing with my daughter. Like many parents, I expect, I’d always been quite envious of the experiences that KCC enjoyed.
The performance at Buxton Opera House was utterly amazing and I became quite overwhelmed at one point during the rehearsal. I hadn’t expected the orchestra to be quite so wonderful, and I was suddenly struck by the enormity of it all, and particularly by the history behind the music and the venue. I felt humbled and privileged to be a part of it.” – HA -2017
“Joyce Ellis is undoubtedly gifted in teaching children to sing. When the rag tag and bobtail bunch assembled nervously at the start of training for the Messiah, it was plain that she had a mammoth task ahead of her. Not only did we have to be taught the music, but we needed to learn how to sing in a Joyce Ellis-approved manner. Learning as an adult how to change the sound of my voice was a revelation.
I felt an occasional “frisson” of excitement when the sound, the timing and the quality came together in rehearsals to reveal our potential as a group. Those with a little experience helped those with none, and those with more experience helped us all. Then there was Joyce who pushed, encouraged, cajoled and bulldozed us until we produced a performance which astounded us all.
The feeling of being on stage in the glorious Buxton Opera House, with accomplished musicians and outstanding soloists, will stay with me for life.
I learned more about singing in the past 10 months than in the previous 56 years put together.” – JL- 2017
“Everything and everyone seemed to come together, and the two lady soloists, behind whom I was standing, were so friendly and encouraging. It was a lovely atmosphere.” – K L S 2017
“What a wonderful experience and to sing with such a wonderful orchestra, soloists choir members. I did not know what would happen when I started but your wonderful, inspirational coaching and enthusiasm kept me going, taught me so much and each week I felt more confident. It was a truly wonderful experience and Sunday, that will live with me forever.” – ND- 2017
“I love the Messiah and try to go somewhere to hear it sung every year around Christmas…… I never believed I could contribute myself. The first time it all seemed to come together at Whaley Bridge I felt lifted off my feet…it was very moving. I can’t thank Joyce enough for giving me that opportunity and experience.” – PS 2017
“It’s been a long time since I actually got to sing, rather than stand in front of a choir and I loved every minute. It was also a nice reminder of what standing on the stage must feel like for my children, when we take them out to perform.” RA- 2017
“I enjoyed it and think the ‘wide mouthed frogs’ came good in the end.” – SB 2017
“It was fascinating to have an insight into how you get the children to sing so well -it is just a shame that we, being so much older, take so much longer to mould! I have sung with some choirs in the past where there was so little guidance and inspiration. On Sunday, I only had to look at you to know in an instant what it was that you wanted us to give-even if we didn’t always manage it. You are an incredible person Joyce-your energy, spirit and enthusiasm for life never fails to amaze me.” – Sarah Grantham 2017
“It was quite literally the experience of a lifetime. I can still hardly believe that as someone who has never sung in a choir before, I was part of such a beautiful performance and I will always be grateful for the special memories you have created for me and my family and friends. The experienced choristers were truly amazing and so, so generous.
It has had had enormous benefits for me, not least in terms of my health and wellbeing.” – Teresa Nicholls 2017