About Us


As the choir moves forwards, 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 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 very lucky to be supported by our fantastic sponsor Purple Creative who built our website, maintain it and run it. If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor please get in touch with us.

Veterans at Ease

We are proud to have Veterans at Ease as our nominated charity.

They were set up in 2010 and provide one-to-one therapy to Serving Personnel, Reservists, Veterans and Family Members to help them deal with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress-related issues.

Veterans at Ease have an 85% success rate in treating PTSD because they are Veterans supporting Veterans, they have walked in their shoes. The Military WAGS Choir fully support the fantastic and necessary work that Veterans at Ease are doing and look forward very much to joining them at future events.

Veterans at Ease

Ben is a baritone from Northeast England, studying with Graeme Danby. Recent stage roles include Schaunard in la Boheme for his debut in France, Prince Yamadori and The Bonze in Madame Butterfly, Barone, Doctor Grenville, and Marchese in la Traviata, (North Wales Opera Studio and Clyde Opera), Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers (York Opera), Guglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte (Constella Operaballet), and Noakes in the premiere of Something in the City by Thomas. F. Dunhill - unperformed in 1939 due to the outbreak of war. Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers at Harrogate international festival, the bass roles in Britten’s The Little Sweep, and Barabashkin in Shostakovich’s Cheryomushki.

Soloist concert performances include Symphony for the Mothers and Sons (commission marking the centenary of the Somme), Bach’s St John Passion and Faure’s Requiem (Bury Bach Choir), and Mozart’s Requiem. Chorus work includes Silent Night (Opera North), Faust, and Le Comte Ory (Dorset Opera). Ben works for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and is honoured to direct the Military WAGS Choir at Catterick Garrison.

Brett became our regular accompanist in September 2015. He had accompanied the choir prior to that date on a few occasions but when he took early retirement from Modern Foreign Languages teaching, our Director at the time Carol Gedye (with whom Brett had worked for a numbers of years through St. Mary’s Church) asked him to join us on a regular basis.

Throughout his teaching career Brett played the piano for school musicals and choirs. He began playing the piano at the age of ten and has continued to play as a hobby, choosing not to take any grade exams. 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 is also the regular accompanist for the Richmond Station Singers and plays once a month for the Sunday morning service at St. Mary’s Church.

In December 2017 he received the honour of the Investor in Richmond Award from the Mayor of Richmond, on behalf of Richmond Town Council, in recognition of services to the community through his contribution to musical ensembles and events.

Brett enjoys playing the more popular-style repertoire of the WAGS choir and is still getting used to being the only man in the room!

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.