Members of Risca Male Choir are preparing to sing together in person for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, June 6, the choir will get together to practice at the grandstand at Pandy Park, home of Cross Keys Rugby Club.
Choir member Martin Hodson MBE told Caerphilly Observer: “Most of the guys are really looking forward to it.
“It’s not just the singing, but seeing friends again and the social aspect of it.”
But Mr Hodson, who used to be the choir’s Music Director, admitted he was “a bit scared” as it will be the first time he has sung since last year.
With coronavirus rules in Wales allowing up to 50 people to meet outdoors, the majority of the choir’s members will be able to attend, with social distancing in place.
Earlier on during the pandemic, the choir turned to video conferencing app Zoom to practice their singing.
However, this proved unpopular with members, who found it difficult to sing together remotely.
“Some didn’t like it, while others persevered but didn’t enjoy it. It was difficult to do so we abandoned it,” Mr Hodson said.
As a result, the practice sessions were replaced with fortnightly social meet-ups over Zoom, which Mr Hodson said helped “keep sprits up”.
The newly-restarted Practice sessions will be held from 6pm to 7.30pm on Sundays, and from 7pm to 8.30pm on Thursdays.
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In a Facebook post, the choir said: “We look forward to welcoming all of our choristers back and of course anyone else who might be interested in joining us – a really good time to join us because after 16 months away, we’re all going to be newbies at this game.”
It will be the first time many of the choir members will have met in person since March last year.
Others met earlier this year to attend the funeral of choir member Stephen Ramm, who passed away from cancer in April, aged 66.
Choir members lined the streets of Stow Hill, Newport, where his funeral took place.
Mr Hodson said Mr Ramm’s funeral made the choristers more determined to meet up once again and to continue practicing and performing together.
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