Army life has its challenges – some families move yearly to a new posting, while for others deployments mean long periods of separation. Many Military Wives Choirs members join a new choir when they are posted to become part of a familiar community built on the joy of singing.

Connecting through song

Rachael (main photo) is currently a member of Corsham & Colerne Military Wives Choir and has been in five choirs in the last decade. She started in Herford in 2012 and then spent three years in North London followed by time at the Defence Academy and Shawbury Military Wives Choirs.

Rachael says: “The choirs have given me some ‘me time’ away from the stresses of work and military life. After singing with the ladies, I can feel the stress just ease away!”

She remembers her first gig with Herford Military Wives Choir fondly. Despite being very nervous, they performed at the officers’ mess in Germany and it was a great success.

She’s since sung the National Anthem at Wembley, recorded Stronger Together at Wellington Barracks, the Celebration of Voices at Hackney Empire and performed for Boris Johnson at City Hall in London.

Rachael adds: “It’s the concerts we have done over the years in the local community that have touched hearts the most.”

There when it matters

Each choir in the network has its own personality and Rachael has enjoyed meeting people who appreciate the benefits of being in a choir. The true force of the network was evident to Rachael when a fellow choir member passed away. Current and former members and other local choirs sang at the funeral – they were there when it mattered, no questions asked.

As soon as Rachael finds out where her husband is posted next, she always contacts the local choir ahead of moving. This puts her mind at ease, meaning when she arrives, she feels part of the group straight away.

Military Wives Choirs at ten

This year marks ten years since the formation of the Military Wives Choirs charity – an opportunity to celebrate how far the network has come and also to look to the future. A concert series in five locations across the UK is planned – to learn more and get your tickets, visit militarywiveschoirs.org