About Us

Whitley Women Community Choir is led by Gilly Love, an experienced singing leader who has led several community choirs around Tyneside in the last 10 years.

Whitley Women Community Choir is for all women over 16 and our membership spans a very wide age range. There are no auditions and no experience is necessary, but experience is good too!  We have a mix of working, retired, homebased and unemployed members, all of whom have made good friends at the choir.  Although some of us have had experience of other choirs, many more have not sung for years, often since they were in school.  We use printed music for much of our repertoire, but it is not necessary to be able to read music.  The main requirement is to use a pencil!  That way, you can remind yourself which part you sing and jot down any extra details e.g. speed, when to be loud or quiet, when to breathe and where to be careful about pronunciation.  

Our choir started in January 2009 and immediately attracted a high number of members, mainly through word of mouth. There was no other community choir in Whitley Bay and many people who knew Gilly from her other choirs liked her style, enjoyed the repertoire and told their friends.  We cover a wide range of material - anything from Cole Porter to Annie Lennox, Gospel, Beatles, music from around the world and from Tyneside.  We sing in three, four and five part harmony, without accompaniment, and in one or two parts, with accompaniment.
 
We meet weekly (during school term time), at two times, to suit different preferences and availability:
  • Thursday mornings from 10:30 till 12:30
  • Wednesday nights from 7:30 - 9:30pm
Both groups cover the same repertoire and combine forces when performing.  We meet at St Andrew's URC, Eastfield Avenue, NE25 8LU.
 
We try to be as flexible as possible regarding fees. Most members pay them termly in advance, but if cost is a barrier to joining or remaining in the choir please talk to our Member’s Support Officer in confidence. Fees are £50 per term, payable to Whitley Women, if you use a cheque. The termly fee allows you to attend either or both of the weekly sessions.
 
Gilly on FacebookWe work hard to present a professional and polished appearance.  The video on our home page will give you an idea of how we sound.

In addition to our weekly sessions and performance events, we also run special workshops, social get-togethers with other choirs and run a residential weekend which enables us to get to know each other better and to
extend our repertoire, with visiting leaders supplementing Gilly. Look at Past Events or Recent Activities to see how busy we have been.

Photo: Gilly Love Director of Music

We are fully insured and have first aiders available at every session.

Support Group
 
Chair                                                    Vivienne Barke
 
Director of Music and Lead Support           Gilly Love

Membership Secretary                             Pat Reed

Pastoral Care and Secretary                     Andrea Rudd

Treasurer                                              Maureen Murphy

Other Members                        

Press and Marketing:                              Val Laverty

Website:                                              Margaret Aitchison

Wednesday - coordinators:                     Jean Brown

                  music/raffles:                     Tracy Gourley

Thursday - coordinators:                       Coleen Petrie, Marjorie Webb

                  music:                              Ali     

                  raffles:                             Andrea

Feedback from our members shows that they relish the singing, the leadership and the friendship they share. They regard it as “their” choir and are proud of what they have achieved.

 “I waited years to find an accessible choir and to build up the confidence to join”

 "I love the range of voices, the relaxed atmosphere and Gilly’s style.” walk-15-friends

 “There’s a good balance of seriousness and fun”

 “the whole session is brilliant

 “It lifts my depression and gives me a reason to learn my part”

 "I wanted a community choir that is well-led, well organised and has a variety of opportunities to sing”

 “I’ve improved my singing” "

 "I’ve learnt a little about theory”

 “I’m better at reading and following written music”

 “I’m happier and healthier”

 “I’ve gained new skills, and made many new friends”

 “I have a real sense of achievement and like being able to boast a little about it”

 “It’s improved my memory – or at least satisfied myself that it’s not as bad as I thought it was!”