Who We Are

We are a varied group of people, all of whom delight in singing together. You can read some more information below about many of the Singers below.

Stephanie Goodwin: our conductor
(Bio and image to follow)

Rhoda Castle: our accompanist: 
Rhoda has been with the choir since 1987, first as a singer and then as accompanist. She studied music at Nottingham University and the Royal College of Music, but her career later took a different course and music became a spare time activity. Accompanying the Marchington Singers has been a welcome change from a busy working life in higher education, and has ensured that she continues to find time for music. In addition to her interest in the piano and choral music Rhoda is keen on folk music and has been known to sing at the local folk club, accompanied by her son on the guitar.

The Committee 2021 – 2022

Christine Eales, soprano and chairman
Bio and image to follow

Shirley Horton, soprano and committee member
I joined the Marchington Singers in 2004. I had been asked to join before but didn’t feel that I could make a full commitment due to family issues. In 2008, I was elected onto the committee and since then have served as a committee member, secretary and Vice Chairman. In 2017, I took over as Chairman until 2023.

When I was still teaching I used to look forward to Wednesday night as two hours of singing was a good way to relax and was a great stress buster.

I made my stage debut at the age of four singing “I’m a little teapot” and enjoyed choral singing throughout my teens, singing with school choral groups and arts and musical groups. I was fortunate to have a few singing lessons until my family moved house.

I sing second soprano, on a good day I can still hit the high notes but find this more difficult as I have got older. I learn the music by ear and use the John Fletcher learning aids to fix the tune and rhythm in my mind. I do a lot of learning whilst driving my car up and down the A38! I find that singing regularly has improved my ability to read music.

I look forward to Wednesday night, I enjoy the challenge of learning new music and performing in concerts. I have made many new friends and can assure anyone thinking of joining us that you will find a friendly sociable group who enjoy making music together.

Caroline Knapton, alto and publicity: 
Caroline moved to Marchington in 2013 after several years working as Head of Music in an International School in Abu Dhabi. She joined the Marchington Singers as soon as she found out they existed and has loved it ever since! Having spent years teaching music, leading choirs and directing school productions, she is really enjoying making music ‘for herself’ and being part of such a wonderful choir.  Caroline is now taking a break from teaching to renovate the family home, and has temporarily swapped her musical instruments for power tools…. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!

Paul Wrathman, baritone and co-ordinator of our £500 Bursary for Young Singers scheme
Paul has been singing in choirs for 25 years; Firstly 18 years in a Male Voice Choir in Lancashire, latterly being Chairman. He sang with a Mixed Voice Choir for 2 years before moving to Staffordshire in 2014. Paul couldn’t live without music in his life so, within 3 weeks of moving to Uttoxeter, he joined The Marchington Singers, which he is thoroughly enjoying.

His other interests are archery, tennis and a number of other sports now as a spectator though.

Christine Eales, soprano and chairman
Bio and image to follow

Linda Craske, soprano and committee member
I joined the choir 28 years ago, a time when my personal life was very traumatic and it helped me greatly. I have made life-long friends. Even if I am feeling tired and don’t want to go out in the evening, once I am there and start to sing, it makes me feel better.

 

Dave Thoma. baritone, committee member and webmaster
Dave enjoys singing in harmony in a singing community; for him, the Singers help to satisfy a primal need to sing with others. This primal need stems from having Welsh blood.

A retired University Lecturer Dave joined in 2018. He likes to learn new things and the broad repertoire of the choir certainly requires new pieces to be learned.

Outside the choir he enjoys cycling, swimming, entertaining, helping others learn, juggling, growing things, family and watching (nowadays) good rugby union especially when its being played by the Welsh team.

Singers’ Profiles: Singers of the Month!

Jenny Evans, alto, joined in 2019
I joined the Marchington singers in autumn 2019, months before the Covid pandemic and lockdown. I was already a member of a choir for female voices but I was looking for a more challenging choir with both male and female voices and had heard of the good reputation of the Marchington singers.

 
I like the social aspect of being a member of a group and the challenge of learning new music. I get pleasure from mastering the material and from hearing the harmonies of the group.
 
I regard singing as a good “therapy session “ where I can lose myself and not think about anything else for a couple of hours. It is also good exercise for my brain and my lungs.
 
Singing fills me with good endorphins, exercises my brain and my lungs and gives me a lot of pleasure! 

 

Claire Roberts, soprano.
I joined the Singers in about 2010 when I was looking for a choir to sing with. I have always enjoyed singing but didn’t know where to look for choirs. I joined at the recommendation of a friend.

I am learning more and more about reading music and I enjoy the friendships I have made through being a member. Wednesday would not be Wednesday without a good sing!

Singing makes me feel happy. It blows the cobwebs off and sets me up for another week. It is also lovely to be in a roomful of people and to know that you have one thing in common with them all.

Singing with the Marchington Singers is the best thing I have ever done as a hobby as it has provided me with somewhere to sing and with lots of friendships.

John Lander, tenor
John has sung with the choir for 28 years, having been invited to join in 1995. He enjoys sharing a common interest of delight in singing. Rehearsals are a time to to escape life’s pressures and to become refreshed; concerts bring the delight of performing.

Thelma Brassington, soprano
Thelma is a founder member of the choir, singing in the first ever Singers’ performance in 1984 to celebrate Marchington’s twinning with Neudrossenfeld in Germany. She thoroughly enjoys singing with people who have become friends and finds that this de-stresses her and lifts her up; sometimes it wears her out!

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