The WAGS

The choir heads into its eighth year, with events to perform at throughout the year but more importantly we continue to sing, support and perform with passion, joy and fun. Our rehearsals offer the environment to make new friends, it is an excellent way to connect with the whole community, it increases your confidence and gives you some time for 'yourself'!

The health benefits attached to singing have to be experienced to understand but speak to any of our longstanding members and they will tell you just how the endorphin release makes you feel.

 

The WAGS
The Committee and Sponsors

The Committee and Sponsors

The choir is a charity and is run by a committee of nine volunteers from the choirs members, in turn supported by our trustees. The committee meets every month in order to effect the week to week running of the choir and establish which performances we can commit to. We are also very lucky to be supported by our sponsors, our website is built and run by Purple Creative, our WAGS kit is supplied by Second Nature and our latest sponsors Love Property have supplied this years music. If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor please get in touch with us.

Carol Gedye is a well-known Richmond music teacher and vocal animateur. Thousands of adults and children have taken part in her wide-ranging choral projects. She helped found the Military WAGS Choir Catterick with Nicky Clarke and Caroline Jopp in April 2010, and has been thrilled to be part of the journey of the choir ever since.

In 2011, with the support of the Community Fund at The Station, Richmond, she started three new community choirs for the area. The choirs known as The Station Singers (www.richmondstationsingers.co.uk), cater for all ranges of vocal ability. They have been very successful in both enabling people to sing (some for the first time), to make friends and also to support local charities. The choirs now operate independently of The Station, though are still based there.

In December 2012 she was very honoured to receive the Investor in Richmond Award from the mayor, on behalf of Richmond Town Council, in recognition of her services to the Richmondshire community through choral singing.

On the 30th November 2016 at the Town Hall in Richmond in front of dignitaries, family and friends; Carol had the Freedom of Richmond bestowed on her in a ceremony that recognised over 25 years of dedication to music and the Richmondshire community.

Brett has accompanied the choir on several occasion over the past few years when our regular accompanist wasn't available.  He became our regular accompanist in September 2015.  Brett recently took early retirement from teaching but throughout his career he played the piano for school musicals and choirs. Since moving to North Yorkshire in 1990 he has accompanied a wide variety of local singing groups and soloists. In addition to playing for the WAGS, Brett also accompanies the Station Singers (who are also led by Carol Gedye) at their concerts.

Lesley Garrett CBE is Britain’s most popular soprano, regularly appearing both in opera and in concert, on television and CD; she has won both critical acclaim and the affection of many fans and music lovers. As a recording artist, she has fourteen solo CDs to her credit and her new album A North Country Lass was released in April 2012.

Lesley’s major television appearances include Lesley Garrett…Tonight, Jobs for the Girls, Viva la Diva and The Lily Savage Show. She was also the subject of a South Bank Show and her music programmes continued on the BBC with The Singer, Sacred Songs and Lesley Garrett – Desert Dreams.

Speaking about the Military WAGS choir Lesley said: “I am delighted to offer my support to the Military WAGS Choir Catterick Garrison, the founder choir in the military wives choir community. The simple fact that this is a group of ladies, singing together in Yorkshire means that they lie close to my heart, but I am also touched by the support they offer each other as well as the way they reach out to the community around them, all through the medium of song.

Lady Lavinia has taught English overseas and foreign languages at home; in the past decade she was much involved in the Royal Academy of Arts – a charity which receives no public funding – giving her a valuable insight into how hard it is to survive as a charity whether big or small. She has decades of experience of fundraising for diverse smaller charities, such as young people’s music scholarships at the R.A.M and S.A.S. (Success after Strokes). She said she trusted her expertise would benefit the choir and her input contribute to its ongoing success.

"I am proud to support WAGS and feel hugely honoured to be a patron," Lady Lavinia said. "Ever since my first job in social services, which was next to an army barracks, I have been aware of the dynamics of army life and the separations it causes between families and loved ones. WAGS has already achieved so much. I admire the WAGS choir as a focus of the community. It gives a sense of release to all involved, reducing the strain of separation."

"I am also happy to support (choir Chairperson) Dr. Sarah Gillespie, whom I have known for many years and would follow to the end of the earth."

Having been a soldier for 34 years (his last appointment having been as Commander Catterick Garrison) Nick retired from the Army in the summer of 2013 and joined Durham School where he now leads its programme to establish Durham International Schools in India and the Middle East. Involved with the Military WAGS Choir Catterick since its inception in 2010, Nick has been fortunate to both witness the inspiration its members provide each other, and indeed the enjoyment they have given those who listen to them sing: he is delighted to be a Trustee and looks forward to what is surely an exciting time as the WAGs further enhance their already enviable reputation as a group of Ladies who love to sing.

Meg has worked in industry for over 30 years, starting out as a chemical engineer and switching to management accounting along the way. She has worked in various factories in the UK and overseas for Glaxo Smith Kline; latterly as Finance and Logistics Director at their manufacturing site in Barnard Castle. Her current role with GSK involves designing and implementing computerised business processes at several European sites.

Other than being married into a family with a military background (Meg’s father-in-law retired as Colonel in the Signal’s), Meg has no connections to the Army and therefore the invitation to be a Trustee was a surprise. However, it was also a delight and easy to accept. Living near Catterick, the impact of our current overseas operations on families living here means more than the images on the TV screens. Meg also has no musical background, however, she understands and supports women’s different perspective of world events. The Military WAGS choir Catterick is a wonderful demonstration of an active and joyful self-support group that she delights in helping as a Trustee.

Phil is the Managing Director of Purple Creative Studio, the developers of the Military WAGS Choir website. It was during the development period that Phil came to fully appreciate just what it is that the WAGS Choir does and how beneficial this support network is to the community. Following the completion of the web project, Phil attended the WAGS Christmas Concert and was extremely impressed with the passion and talent on display. As a musician himself - well a drummer, if that counts - Phil was thrilled to be invited to serve as a Trustee for this very worthy group.

The MWCF’s purpose is as an umbrella organisation that helps new choirs establish themselves with the aim of having a network of choirs throughout the military community.

The Military Wives Choir Community

The majority of MWCs are linked to the MWCF, but some of the well established choirs or those who have chosen to organise themselves slightly differently from the MWCF model, whilst not actual affiliates of the MWCF remain part of the Military Wives Choir community.

The Military WAGS Choir Catterick Garrison falls into this group - very much supporting the aims of the MWCF and as the founding choir regarding themselves as integral to the history and movement of the Military Wives Choirs community.