While their husbands and partners are busy aiding transition in Afghanistan, the women of Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir have performed in front of The Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond and many other members of Parliament in London.
After being contacted by the MP for Devizes Claire Perry, the choir was invited to sing at a special event held in London yesterday, 23 May, at Portcullis House, directly opposite the House of Commons.
Largest forces community
Claire, who has Bulford, Tidworth and Larkhill in her constituency, said: “Salisbury Plain is the beating heart of the British Army. I love my constituency and I firmly believe the wives and partners of our soldiers are the unsung backbone of our forces.
“I am really keen to help and promote these ladies, and today was just a small sign of our appreciation.”
Claire has the largest forces community in the UK on the Salisbury Plain area, some 10,500 soldiers, plus thousands more partners and children.
Having recently performed to the Queen at the Jubilee celebrations in Salisbury, the ladies were over the moon when they got the London invite.
With their event calendar filling up rapidly, the choir was recently asked to help with a special project, featuring composer and performer Gary Barlow from pop band Take That.
Now, with more than 40 choirs across the country, they had to choose who would perform with the famous boy-band heartthrob for the new Jubilee song, ‘SING’, a song commissioned specifically for the Diamond Jubilee next month.
Several ladies, from ten choirs, were chosen after strict choir-master auditions. Salisbury Plain was lucky enough to be one of those choirs selected.
Kate Mason, 34, who lives in Bulford, is a music teacher who sings with the choir. Having taught piano to Netheravon Primary and Durrington Juniors for eight years, she is now the main pianist for the choir, as well as a singer in the Alto section.
“Walking through the doors at Abbey Road Studios was something special,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get chosen. It was very exciting and a nice surprise.
“The whole experience was surreal, but we all felt a great deal of responsibility as we were representing all the choirs in the video.
As a music teacher it did seem strange being the one getting taught, but being taught by Gary Barlow was very special.”