MILITARY, wives and choir. Three simple words, but when you put them together they create something incredible, writes Chloe Livingstone.
I was 15 when I started my journey with the Chivenor Military Wives Choir and was so inspired by the strength of the women who I was singing with that I started going to choir every week.
Their courage was something I admired and it was something I felt spurred on to do from my own experience of being separated from a loved one.
Having a ‘weekend dad’ was hard
Being an Army kid can be tough and I’ve had my fair share of dad being away from home. For three years he worked away all week at another base, only returning on the weekends.
He couldn’t help me with my homework, talk about school or just eat dinner with us as a family.
When we moved to Chivenor everything changed. My dad was living with us again and I decided to join the choir with my mum, Carol.
At first I was nervous, being one of the youngest members of a choir full of strong and talented women.
I’d always loved singing but mainly in the shower, my bedroom or where no one could hear me, so the thought of singing alone in front of Gareth Malone terrified me!
However, as I learnt the techniques I got more confident in my voice and myself.
My first big performance was at the Royal Albert Hall. I was so nervous but it was the most amazing experience.
And it didn’t stop there. Within a week we were in London recording Wherever You Are which became the Christmas number one.
Since then I have gone through school and college but the choir has been a constant even though my father is no longer serving.
It’s given me something positive to pursue, something I love and I have another family who I can laugh, cry and obviously sing with too!
The choir has helped me in ways I would never have thought possible. My confidence has grown and my insecurities have disappeared. I never thought singing could change my life but it has.
I am so happy that I took that step and joined and I would encourage all other young women with parents in the Services to do the same.
To join your nearest Military Wives Choir, visit www.militarywiveschoirs.org