WITH the unpredictable nature of Army life, the feeling of isolation can be common. It can be particularly tricky for those new to military life who have moved far away from family and friends for the first time. Army&You spoke to one Service spouse to find out why joining your local Military Wives Choir might be the answer…
Becca Tompkin (24) is from Leicestershire and three years ago met her husband, Daniel. In October 2016, they were posted to Kent.
She said: “Being away from family was really tough and I found it quite isolating to begin with. I was looking for activities on camp where I could make new friends, but I found the idea of going along to a coffee morning quite pressurising; to just walk into a room and talk. That was the reason I joined the choir.”
There are 75 Military Wives Choirs across the UK and overseas open to any woman with a military connection with no experience necessary. Members ranging from 18 to more than 80 experience a fun, safe space were ladies can take time for themselves to make friends and sing side-by-side with a group that understands – vital when you’re new to an area.
Lifting your mood
Becca has just celebrated her one-year anniversary with Brompton Military Wives Choir. She added: “All of the ladies in my choir have been nothing but lovely and supportive. The atmosphere is relaxed and we find time for a good chat too. Choir always lifts my mood and leaves me feeling relaxed and happy – sometimes it’s just what I need after a long day!”
All Military Wives Choirs share a core repertoire which they sing in rehearsals and often perform at events. The familiarity of the songs means that whatever number posting you’re on, you can always walk into a rehearsal room and feel at home.
“I love the songs which we get to sing whilst experiencing new things,” Becca explained. “We Will Remember Them, which was written especially for us, really makes me emotional. Singing them when we perform or even just in rehearsals is such an amazing feeling. I’ll never forget my first Remembrance performance with the Royal Engineers band – it was very special.”
Interested in joining the Military Wives Choirs network? Visit militarywiveschoirs.org to find your local group.