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Trish Burgess is filled with song after joining Spalding choir Mirinesse

By Spalding Today Columnist

Mirinesse is an olde English word meaning 'filled with joy'. It's such an apt name for a female choir based in Spalding that has recently welcomed me into its ranks. Certainly, since joining just a few weeks ago, I've remembered how wonderful singing is for the soul.

It's been over a year since I last took to the stage, as The Wicked Witch of the West, in the SADOS production of The Wizard of Oz. I like to take an acting break now and again but I realised that I really missed the camaraderie of group singing.

Director, Samantha Graper, formed Mirinesse in 2015, with an aim to bring both secular and sacred music to a range of venues in the local area. The ladies sing in two-, three- and four-part harmony, accompanied by pianist and organist, Peter Graper.

I was delighted to join the choir, as they are currently rehearsing for a concert to be held at Broad Street Methodist Church on November 17. However, I have a lot of catching up to do, as I'm about four weeks behind everyone else.

Thankfully, I'm positioned in the sopranos next to a former SADOS friend, Jo Wheatley, so I'm staying close to her and listening intently. I've also set myself some homework: finding clips of the songs on the internet so I can hear the tunes as often as I can.

Mirinesse choir (5131640)
Mirinesse choir (5131640)

The concert - Music for Commemoration and Peace 1918-2018 - includes songs from the First World War and music around the theme of remembrance and peace. The programme also pays homage to the suffragettes on the centenary of women in the UK being given the vote in 1918. The choir will be joined by a trumpeter for some pieces.

My favourite songs so far include Remember Me, an arrangement by Bob Chilcott based on the beautiful poem by Christine Rossetti. I also love the harmonies in A Flower Remembered, by John Rutter, written in memory of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.

There are some upbeat numbers everyone will recognise: Pack Up Your Troubles and It's a Long Way to Tipperary, plus the poignant ballads, Keep the Home Fires Burning and When this Lousy War is Over.

The choir is very excited to be performing The Pankhurst Anthem, commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to mark the centenary of women's suffrage. Composed by Lucy Pankhurst, with text by Helen Pankhurst - the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, the piece is challenging, but I think the result will be very powerful.

If you would like to come along and hear Mirinesse perform, on November 17 at 7pm, tickets for the concert at Broad Street Methodist Church cost £6 including refreshments. They are available from the church if you ring 01775 640381 or from choir members.

It should be an evening filled with warmth, reflection and, of course, joy.

​You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk


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