‘When you move a lot, the choir remains a constant in your life’

Dishforth Military Wives Choir with accompanist Malcolm Maddock.
Dishforth Military Wives Choir with accompanist Malcolm Maddock.

A former Alnwick schoolgirl will be back on home ground when she returns to town to perform with the Dishforth Military Wives Choir.

Sam Egdell, whose father was in the RAF, grew up in Alnwick and her entire family are Northumbrian.

The 27-year-old went to the Duke’s, Lindisfarne and the Duchess’s schools before moving away at 13.

It was her music teacher’s inspiration that led Sam to the Military Wives Choir.

“When I was at Duchess’s we used to have a great choir teacher, Mr Harries, and it was his love for music that inspired me to go on and sing.

“When I moved away, there was no other choir like it, which is why I’m excited to come back and sing.

“We used to live in Allerburn Lea and I remember them building the Alnwick Gardens when I was younger so it will be great to perform there.”

Sam has retained her links with Northumberland as her parents run a bed and breakfast in Wooler.

“I am back and forth as I help my parents run a business but my husband is an infantry officer in the Army and we move a lot, we’re currently in Catterick.

“When you come to an area having something like the Military Wives, you have instant friends and that somehow makes things more bearable.”

“I think that when you move a lot, the Military Wives Choir remains a constant, it’s a ready made group of friends and an amazing support network. We all cope together, especially when our partners are away. It’s something for us to look forward to every week.”

The choir’s concert, on Saturday, April 18, at The Alnwick Garden, is in aid of military charity ssafa Northumberland.

It will include favourite choir songs including Wherever You Are, which was the Christmas number one in 2011, Bring Him Home, On My Own and When Will I See You Again? In commemoration of last year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, the choir will present a Vera Lynn medley of wartime songs alongside old favourites such as It’s A Long Way to Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. Other patriotic hymns and songs will be included, such as Jerusalem, Abide With Me and I Vow To Thee My Country.

The evening, plus an optional pre-concert meal, will be followed by a ball in October with the choir, again at The Alnwick Garden.

ssafa Northumberland public awareness and fund-raising officer Major Brian Finlayson, who has organised the events, said: “It is a coup to have them, they are really in big demand. To be able to tie them down to one event is remarkable, to have them back again is wonderful.”

The concert takes place at The Alnwick Garden on Saturday, April 18, dinner 5pm, concert 7pm. Tickets £20 or £15 concessions, £40 per person for concert and dinner. Contact 01665 511350, option 2.