Sign up then sing up for popular choir

A POPULAR Ipswich choir which has been forced to sing that little bit louder due to dwindling numbers today appealed for would-be singers.

A POPULAR Ipswich choir which has been forced to sing that little bit louder due to dwindling numbers today appealed for would-be singers.

The Co-op Singers have managed to hit the high notes despite losing nearly half its membership in recent months.

But now, the group is desperate to attract new blood to ensure the choir's future.

The choristers, who meet at the Education Centre in Fore Street every week, have been plagued by a dramatic decline in membership.

Over the summer its roll-call of singers has shrunk from more than 30 down to barely 20.

Pianist, Doug Betts, believes the recent success of Last Choir Standing on BBC1 should have generated a renewed interest in choirs.

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However, the stampede has not materialised and now, when he's not tickling the ivories, Mr Betts is hunting for fresh talent to join the choir's ranks.

He said: “It is a great place to come if you enjoy singing but haven't got much experience and are keen to learn more.

“We have a very varied repertoire which is easy to learn and are in no way a high brow group.

“In turn we give something back to the community by going out and giving concerts.”

Mr Betts, the only male member of the choir, puts the shrinking membership down to the loss of the group's regular conductor over the summer.

He said: “Some people may have seen it as a natural time to step down but we have a fantastic and very experienced new conductor and are desperate to recruit more members.”

The Co-op Singers meet every Wednesday evening during term time, from 7.30pm to 9pm.

There is a membership fee of £16 per term for East of England Co-op Members and £18 per term for non-members.

The singers are available for concert work at evenings and weekends.

If you are interested in joining or hiring the singers, call 01206 504246 or 07847 370786.

Do you think there are enough community groups like the Co-op Singers in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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