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Alan and Lesley Dibb

Strong advocates for singing as a positive life force, Alan and Lesley sing in a total of 4 local choirs between them, including Press Gang, NoteAbility, Carclaze Voices and St Mewan Community Choir.

Both take an active role in their local community and, through their choirs, have contributed much time and effort into supporting local charities. Alongside this, Alan also runs Charlestown Christmas Market - which relocated from Fowey in 2018 and has become a resounding success ever since.

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Speaking about their route into singing together, Alan explains, “I used to sing with Mevagissey Male Choir and I loved it. I met Lesley and she wasn’t singing at the time and I thought, she’s got a lovely voice, she ought to sing too.”

Lesley explains, “We both joined NoteAbility and then our choir master left, and we were bereft because we had this lovely group of people who we loved but no choir master or musical director. So we kept meeting up as a group in a pub and eventually found a new MD who was extremely talented and dedicated – Alan also helped to run things in the background.”

“Now we’ve been running for nearly 8-years and the choir has grown to about 65 strong. The beauty of it is, the group is for men and women and it’s a very sociable group. For some people, it’s the best night of their week which is a lovely thing to be able to be part of. It’s like a party every Thursday night!”

Through their work with the choir, they’ve become part of a strong community and have been able to go on to support a number of worthy causes. But one of the strongest benefits is the support that members offer to one another. Lesley says, “Within 5 minutes, everyone’s laughing together. We’ve had some big highs and some big lows in the group, but we all give each other a massive level of support. It’s really a great community.”

They have some clear advice for those who might be thinking about joining a local community choir or similar, “Just do it,” Alan says, “anyone who can sing should sing and it’s a crime not to! It’s a sad part of our culture that we tend to sing in junior school because we’re forced to, and then we get to secondary school you might not be likely to sing again unless, like me, you join a choir at the age of 65. So there’s potentially a period of about 45 years where you don’t sing at all.

“We’ve just come back from a festival in Brittany where singing is part of their culture and part of our mission is to try and bring that back in Cornwall.”

Find out more about NoteAbility Choir at www.noteability.org.uk