April 2022

It’s been a busy few months for Dagnall Community Choir, following our post lock-down relaunch back in September. Busy, but happy as we’ve all really loved being able to get together again to make music and enjoy our weekly Monday night rehearsals. 

Our first public performance after our enforced 18 month break was at the Poppy Prom at Eaton Bray Church back in November. This was a lovely event, and we followed it up a month later with carol singing at The Five Bells in Stanbridge, and at St Luke’s Church in Leagrave. We also enjoyed a fabulous Christmas social evening at the Five Bells.

January and February were taken up with learning and perfecting our entries for the Milton Keynes Music Festival which took place in March, and as we go into April, we are working on polishing up our repertoire ready for forthcoming performances that will take place in the summer and autumn of 2022.

We have been delighted to welcome some newcomers to our ensemble since the start of the year and would encourage anyone else who is interested in joining a choir to give us a go! Just come along to one of our rehearsals on Monday evenings at Dagnall Church at 7.45pm - you will receive a friendly welcome. There are no auditions, and no requirement to read music, all we ask of our choir members is a love of singing.


October 2021

Choir restarted after our long, enforced break on Monday 6th September. It felt quite emotional all singing together after so many months (were there actual tears in the eyes of some of the sopranos as the first chords of “Edelweiss” resounded around Dagnall Church?)

We rehearsed a selection of our favourite songs in preparation for the Poppy Prom, which is due to take place on Saturday 13th November at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray. We may have been a little rusty at first… but choir leader Michelle was kind to us, and by the end of the evening, all those words and melodies and harmonies were coming back to us, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to perform in public in a month or so.

It was also wonderful to see familiar faces and to catch up with everyone’s news. The choir is a social group as well as a musical ensemble, and so special thanks should be made to Stephen Holder, our Chairman, who has done a great job during the various lockdowns of keeping us all in touch with one another, and with the music that has brought us together.

Every day, during the time that choir couldn’t meet, Stephen has emailed a short message to all choir members, with a link to a piece of music that he’d selected for us to enjoy. The music has ranged from Mozart to Metallica, Beethoven to Bruce Springsteen, and has included several selections from one of Stephen’s new found favourites, Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø. Back in March 2020, Stephen thought this would be an undertaking that he would continue for just a few weeks, maybe a month or two before life went back to normal, but other than a few days off over Christmas, he actually ended up sending emails every day for 18 months!! We have all really appreciated these daily “hellos”, and his daily sign off, “keep well and stay safe.”

For more information about the choir, please visit our website www.dagnall-community-choir.co.uk, or telephone 07443 037227. As always, we welcome new members, but at present we ask that you only attend if you have received two vaccinations against Covid-19 – the safety of everyone is our priority.

July 2021

With the world opening up and the end of his pandemic (hopefully) in sight, we finally have a date for choir to restart. Our first post-lockdown rehearsal will be on Monday 6th September, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church.


Whilst we are all looking forward to getting back together, the safety of choir members will be of the highest priority, so there will be all necessary measures in place to minimise risk of infection, including space between chairs, doors open for ventilation and hand sanitiser available. 


We welcome choir members, old and new, who have had two covid vaccinations, and will require proof of this. This can be by showing your NHS Covid Pass which can be downloaded from the NHS app, or your vaccination card if this is not available. If you have been unable to have the vaccinations you will need to provide the result of a Rapid Lateral Flow test, taken prior to attending choir. We thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Our rehearsals will focus on preparation for the Poppy Prom, which takes place at St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray on Saturday 13th November. This event is both a commemoration and a celebration, and the music that we will be performing will reflect this.


It will be truly wonderful to be able to sing together, perform and entertain once again.

May 2022

Have you been thinking about joining a choir? Then please come along to:


Monday 23rd May 2022
7.45 – 9.45pm
Dagnall Church, Ringshall Road, HP4 1RL

We are looking to recruit new members and would welcome anyone who would like to come along to our open evening to find out more about the choir. This will be a relaxed and fun evening featuring some of our favourite music, and a chance to meet current choir members and our excellent musical team. Feel free to join in, or just come along to listen (there may even be cake!)

The choir is pleased to announce that we have a number of up-and-coming performances planned for the next few months. We are excited to have been asked to sing at the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations that will be taking place on Edlesborough Green on Sunday June 5th – more details to follow nearer the time.

In September we have booked Eaton Bray Village Hall for an autumn showcase concert. We haven’t been able to do this sort of event for the last two years, so we’re really looking forward to making this a very special occasion. Put the date in your diary now – Saturday 10th September.

The next opportunity to hear us sing will be at the annual Poppy Prom which takes place at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray on Saturday 12th November, then on Sunday 18th December we will be hosting a Christmas Concert at Dagnall Village Hall.

There may be additional events and performances added to this list, so watch this space for up-to-date information.

With all these performances lined up we are working on increasing our repertoire, and Michelle tells us she has plenty of new music planned for us to learn… Amongst the recent additions to our music folders are songs from the musicals Chess and West Side Story; we’re also tackling a bit of Latin Rock and reviving some of the classical pieces we’ve mastered in the past. Something for everyone as usual!

June 2021

Dagnall Community Choir is recruiting new members!

It’s been a long fifteen months since the choir were last able to meet and sing together, but we are hopeful that this summer we will finally be able to restart rehearsals and resume making the music together that we love. We can’t wait – we have missed it so much!

New members are particularly welcome as we relaunch the choir. Whether you are an accomplished chorist, or have never sung before, we would love you to join us. There are no auditions, and you don’t have to read music to join our choir – a love of music is the only qualification required.

All being well, our Monday night rehearsals will restart in good time for us to prepare for our first public performance since the lockdown, which will be at the Poppy Prom at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray, on Saturday 13th November. We will join the South Bedfordshire Concert Band for what should be a wonderful night of music, remembrance and celebration.

We are all so looking forward to our community choir being able to meet and perform again!

April 2020

Please note: this diary entry was written prior to the lockdown introduced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The choir has suspended all rehearsals and performances until further notice.

Spring is finally upon us, and after a gloomy winter of stormy winds and so much rain, we are looking forward to the bright skies and light evenings that April brings. 

The change in season has been marked by some wonderful upbeat new music in the choir’s repertoire – we have started learning “Anything Goes” from the Cole Porter musical of the same name, and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman, well known as the theme from Toy Story. It’s always very exciting when new sheet music gets handed out at our Monday night rehearsals, and these songs are great fun to sing!

Our repertoire is wide ranging and quite diverse, so as well as well known show tunes by world famous songwriters, we have also been learning some reflective choral pieces, by composers who have a more local connection. Philip Stopford is a contemporary composer who originally hails from Leighton Buzzard, and the choir love his classical choral arrangements. “Do Not Be Afraid” is poignant and beautifully harmonious and we are looking forward to singing it in front of an appreciative audience.

Our final new song is entitled “Vulnerati”, and has been written by local composer Jeremy Cladd, for Dagnall Community Choir to sing with The South Beds Concert Band at our forthcoming joint concert. We feel very privileged to have been invited to sing this lovely piece of music, and to join forces with such an accomplished group of musicians to bring an evening of entertainment to our community. 

Please note, this concert, originally due to take place in May, has had to be postponed – we will advise a new date as soon as we are able.

The next concert in our schedule takes place on Saturday 12th September, when we will celebrate the choir’s 10th anniversary, with a selection of some of our very favourite songs from the past decade. Watch this space for more information...

As usual the choir is always on the lookout for new members, and we know that there are plenty of people living in and around these villages that are very keen to sing in a choir, so do please come along and join us. 

March 2020

Please spare a thought for Dagnall Community Choir on the evening of Saturday 7th March, when we will be taking part and competing with other choirs in the Bedford Music Festival, singing possibly the most challenging song in our repertoire to date! 

We have all been practicing hard to ensure that Astor Piazzolla’s “Invierno Porteno” sounds just about as good as we can make it sound, and hoping that the judges will be impressed... We will also be singing Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, which is an absolute breeze in comparison - who would have thought when the choir formed, just over ten years ago that Vivaldi would be so firmly within our comfort zone?

And please spare another thought for us the following weekend, when we will be doing it all over again, at the Milton Keynes Music Festival, which takes place on Friday 13th March.

Rest assured though, that DCC isn’t just about learning complicated classical pieces for competitions. Our repertoire includes a whole range of musical styles, including show tunes, traditional songs, rock and pop and much more. At the moment we are loving “Circle of Life” from the Lion King, and “Flying Free” by Don Besig, and are looking forward to learning some new music in the coming weeks.

Our next concert is on Saturday 2nd May, 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray. This is a combined concert, with the South Beds Concert Band, who we have enjoyed performing with many times at the Poppy Prom, and who we know will provide a fantastic evening of music. Tickets are £10, available from the Box Office on 01525 222283 or 01525 220189.

In September, we will be celebrating ten years of Dagnall Community Choir with an anniversary concert in Dagnall Village Hall. This will take place on Saturday 12th September, so put that date in your diary now! We also have some fun social events to look forward to in the coming months, including a Quiz Night in the summer, and a visit from a Norwegian choir in May, which will no doubt be an interesting and entertaining evening.

We have had several enquiries from people interested in joining us recently, and are grateful to the members of the local Facebook page who have sparked discussion alerting more people to our existence. It seems there are many people living within our community who are keen to sing with a choir, and we look forward to welcoming them at any of our Monday night rehearsals. Come along and see how much fun we have!

February 2020

February 2020 marks the ten year anniversary of Dagnall Community Choir!


The choir was formed in 2010, and from small beginnings, has grown and evolved over the decade, to become the well-regarded and quite accomplished group of singers that we are today. Over the years we have been delighted to welcome lots of newcomers into the throng, but there are still many of the original choir members in our ensemble, who have been enjoying singing and socialising with the choir for ten wonderful years. We look forward to finding out what musical adventures the next decade will bring for us all...

The choir’s focus for the first few months of 2020 will be on learning and perfecting our songs for the Milton Keynes and the Bedford Music Festivals, which take place in March. We will be singing Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, and “Invierno Porteno” (Winter in Buenos Aires) by Astor Piazzolla. This latter piece is an Argentinian tango, part of a suite of four which represent the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, and is sung in a “non-lexical” style, which is quite a challenge for the choir. We hope our efforts will impress the judges as much as they did last year when we achieved second place at the Milton Keynes Music Festival.

The choir is always looking for new members, and we are particularly keen to welcome more males voices to join our ranks. If you think you would like to give choral singing a try, please come along to one of our Monday night rehearsals, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church. Whether you are an experienced singer or a complete beginner, there is a space for you at DCC - we don’t ask you to audition or require that you read music – all you need to join our community choir is a love of singing!

December 2019

December is upon us, and everyone in the choir is really looking forward to our Christmas concert, which takes place on Sunday 8th December, 3.00pm at Dagnall Village Hall. This is always a lovely event, with plenty of festive music, as well as mince pies and mulled wine, and a visit from Santa for the younger members of the audience. It’s free entry (there will be a charity collection and all donations gratefully received) so if you haven’t been before, please come along and join in our celebration of Christmas. 

Before that, on Saturday 7th December at 5.30pm, the choir will be singing Christmas carols around the tree at The Five Bells in Stanbridge, as they switch on their Christmas lights - do come along for a sing-along! Then on Sunday 15th December we will be joining the congregation at St Luke’s Church, Leagrave, for their Carol Service at 4.00pm, which is sure to be enjoyable.

We look back on an eventful year for Dagnall Community Choir. We have welcomed new members who have quickly become friends, and have also had to say sad goodbyes. For some choir members and their families, 2019 has been a difficult year, and we think of them with love this Christmas. 

We’ve enjoyed singing in some wonderful concerts over the last twelve months, performing in Dunstable, Toddington, Dagnall and Eaton Bray. Back in the Spring, we took part in the Milton Keynes Music Festival, and were delighted to be awarded second place in our category. The boost to our confidence that this gave us has been evident in all our performances since then, and we are proud to now be able to call ourselves an “award winning choir!”

The new year will mark the choir’s tenth anniversary, as we formed in February 2010. From small beginnings, our village community choir has grown to be a well regarded and accomplished musical group. We look forward to seeing what the next decade will bring us!

As always, we welcome all new members, so if you’d like to give it a go, please get in touch, or come along to one of our rehearsals. We meet on Monday evenings throughout the year, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church. Hope to see you soon!

November 2019

Have you ever thought about joining a choir? Dagnall Community Choir always welcomes new members, so if singing in a choir is something you’d love to do, please come and join us on a Monday night.

Sometimes people think about coming along but worry that they won’t be “good enough” or that they don’t have enough musical experience to sing with us. Well, at Dagnall Community Choir this won’t be an issue - we welcome musical beginners every bit as warmly as we welcome choristers that have been singing for years, and we don’t ask you to audition to join us. It’s remarkable how many new members tell us that they haven’t really sung since they were at school, however many years ago... other than in the shower of course, or singing along to the radio in the car!


Like any other activity, the more you practice, the better you get. And that’s especially true when you have the benefit of excellent mentors, like Michelle Garrard our Musical Director and James Banville our accompanist. Under their guidance, even the most hesitant singer can gain confidence and develop their musical potential. Soon you will be experiencing the utter joy of choral singing along with the rest of us!

For many, the thought of singing a solo at one of our concerts is pretty terrifying, and that can be the case for established choir members as well as “newbies”. But over the past few years, several choir members have felt ready to take the plunge, and agreed to sing on their own, be it a whole song, a verse, or just an individual line in a song. Quite an accomplishment for those who joined us with no previous singing experience at all.

Our Christmas Concert is always a good opportunity for those budding soloists to perform. It’s a relaxed family event with a varied programme, communal carol singing, refreshments, and a visit from Father Christmas for the children. This year it takes place on Sunday 8th  December, 3.00pm at Dagnall Village Hall, free entrance with a charity collection. Please do come along and enjoy an afternoon of festive music with us.

Before that, we will be performing at the Poppy Prom, which takes place on Saturday 9th November at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray. This is always a wonderful evening of music, remembrance and celebration, with the South Beds Concert Band and guest soloists. 

October 2019

As the days grow cooler and nights draw in, we look back on a successful and enjoyable summer for Dagnall Community Choir. 

Our July concert “Music for a Summer’s Evening” was generally agreed to be one of our best yet, and we received some lovely comments from audience members, who appreciated not only our choral singing but also the very accomplished solo contributions from James Banville our pianist, and Michelle Garrard our Musical Director. The venue of Dagnall Village Hall seemed to work very well for us, providing a well sized space with acoustics that clearly showcase our varied repertoire to the very best advantage! We look forward to performing there again soon.


The months leading up to the end of the year are always a busy time for the choir, and our focus throughout October will be perfecting our selection of music for the Poppy Prom, which takes place on the evening of Saturday 9th November. As usual, this event, which takes place at St Mary’s Church Eaton Bray, will be one of both remembrance and celebration, and the songs we perform, alongside the South Beds Concert Band, will reflect this. Tickets for this are £12.50 available from St Mary’s Box Office on 01525 222283.

After this, the countdown to Christmas begins... our Christmas Concert this year takes place on Sunday 8th December, 3.00pm at Dagnall Village Hall. This is always an enjoyable celebration of festive music, with something for everyone, and an opportunity to raise some money for a good cause. We have also been asked to sing at St Luke’s Leagrave carol service on 15th December, and at the Christmas tree lighting at The Five Bells in Stanbridge - it certainly is nice to be in demand!

As usual, we are always keen to welcome new members to our friendly choir, and particularly need more male voices to boost the lower sections! So if singing in a choir is something that you have always wanted to do, please do come along on a Monday evening – we meet at 7.45pm at Dagnall Church.  We would love to see you!

August 2019

It may be the height of summer, but at Dagnall Community Choir, our thoughts are now turning towards our concert programme for the autumn and winter of 2019.  Our first concert of the new season takes place at St George’s Church, Toddington, on the afternoon of Saturday 15th September.  This is a new venue for us, and we are looking forward to bringing our music to a new audience.

For this concert, we have decided to revive some songs from our “back catalogue”, so we are currently revisiting some old favourites, including a medley from Les Miserables and various songs from other well known musicals.  This will be combined with classical pieces, with Vivaldi, Elgar and Karl Jenkins all potentially making an appearance in our forthcoming programme.

Along with the old favourites we will be singing some new songs, and are hopeful that Invierno Porteño, by Astor Piazolla may be performance ready by then. If not, that will be a treat for our audiences to look forward to next Spring!

As we grow and develop as a choir, there’s no doubt that we’re increasingly able to learn and perform more ambitious pieces of choral music, and this is also evident in our re-interpretation of some of the music we’ve not performed for two or three years. It’s rewarding to go back and re-learn tricky rhythms, challenging harmonies or subtle dynamics in these pieces that may have eluded us last time we performed them.

Michelle, our Musical Director, keeps encouraging us to put our books down during rehearsals, and sing without the music open in front of us. Many of us are quite daunted by this prospect, sure that we will forget the words or mess up the tune, but what a surprise to all when we realised that we can sing through the whole of our Vivaldi repertoire without once needing to refer to the song sheet! Now she just needs to convince us that we can do this in our concerts as well!!

Of course, any new choir members may look at their music sheets as often as they like.... So do come along and join us if you would like to be part of a fun and friendly choir. For newcomers, often the best way to learn a piece of music is by singing next to someone who already knows how their part goes, but we do have an experienced musical team on hand to share their knowledge and expertise with all, so you will be given plenty of help and encouragement to find your voice within the choir.

We meet every Monday from 7.45pm at Dagnall Church, which is the church on the roundabout on the main road through Dagnall.

July 2019

No perfect summer’s evening is properly complete without music.  Whether you’re listening to music or making music, there’s something about melodic notes ringing out across a tranquil summer sky that strikes joy into everyone’s heart and reminds us all that it’s good to be alive!

Our summer concert, which takes place on the evening of Saturday 13th July at 7.30pm, is entitled "Music for a Summer's Evening" and we hope that this will strike that joy into your hearts and prove to be an enjoyable evening of entertainment.  As usual, we will be offering a variety of musical styles to appeal to a broad range of tastes, from classical to musical theatre, with a bit of folk and pop thrown in for good measure!  We will be showcasing some of our new songs and, of course, revisiting old favourites.  Tickets are available now from the Box Office on 01525 220189 and cost £8.00 to include a glass of wine or soft drink.

If you haven't been to one of our concerts before, or haven't heard us sing for a few years, why not come along and see what you think!  From small beginnings, the choir has grown in size and proficiency over the years, and we feel we are now really quite accomplished.  

This was borne out recently when we were awarded second place with distinction in the adult choir section of the Milton Keynes Music Festival, where we were competing against some exceptionally good choirs.  We were absolutely thrilled with this result, which has boosted our confidence and heightened our enthusiasm for doing what we love.  Of course much of this success is down to our fantastic musical team, Michelle Garrard and James Banville, who take us through our paces with expertise and lots of patience.

We are a community choir, which means that anyone over the age of sixteen can join us, and if you want to add your voice to our collective, you can be assured of a warm welcome at Dagnall Church on a Monday night.  We don’t ask you to audition, and there is no requirement to be able to read music – before joining the choir, many of our members didn’t have any kind of musical background at all, other than singing along to their favourite songs in the car, and plenty of us hadn’t sang with others since our school days.

So don’t be shy – if you love music, and feel you want to sing with a group of friendly and like minded people, please come along. We meet at Dagnall Church at 7.45pm every Monday and look forward to seeing you.  

June 2019

Our diaries for the second half of 2019 are filling up quickly.  We have booked Dagnall Village Hall for a summer concert, “Music for a Summer Evening”, on Saturday 13th July, and we’re sure this will be an enjoyable night of music and friendship, so do buy a ticket - £8.00 to include a drink – available from the Box Office on 01525 220189.


Following this, our next performance will be at St George’s Church, Toddington, Sunday 15th September at 3.00pm.  Watch this space for more details.

In preparation for these performances, we have been learning quite a bit of new music.  Invierno Porteño, by Astor Piazolla, is a piece that we are all finding quite challenging at the moment, but that we know will be absolutely magnificent once we have mastered it... quite a treat for music lovers!  Flying Free, by Don Besig, is another new song in our repertoire that we are looking forward to sharing with an audience, along with some old favourites which span a variety of musical moods and styles.

Our Monday evening rehearsals continue to be thoroughly enjoyable. We work hard, but have plenty of fun too, and choir members really love this time of year, when we arrive at choir in daylight, take our drinks outside during tea break, and leave just as the sun is setting. Singing has been proven to enhance one’s well-being, and singing on a glorious summer’s evening, surrounded by our beautiful countryside... surely even more so! 

So if you’re reading this and think that you’d like to join us and enhance your own well-being, then please do. We meet on Monday evenings, 7.45pm, at Dagnall Church, and always welcome new members - just come along and give it a go!  There is no audition or requirement to read music - all that is needed is a love of music and a desire to sing with a group of like minded people.  We look forward to meeting you!

May 2019

Dagnall Community Choir is officially an “Award-winning Choir!”

On the evening of Friday 15th March 2019, the choir took to the stage in the main auditorium of the Ridgeway Centre in Milton Keynes, and sang two songs in front of an audience of friends, fellow musicians, and an experienced and knowledgeable adjudicator. We were one of several groups taking part in the Adult Choir section of the Milton Keynes Festival of Music, and despite some nerves, we all knew that we were well rehearsed, confident of the words and music, and absolutely determined that this would be our very best performance.

Happily the adjudicator was impressed, commenting that we had “a lovely choir sound whose pitch is secure and phrasing really sensitive.” We were delighted to be awarded second place with distinction – a really good result for our very first entry into an event of this kind. It was an enjoyable evening, and we all appreciated the opportunity to listen to the other choirs perform, and to be part of a wonderful celebration of music. We look forward to taking part again next year.

Our performance and achievement we dedicated to our dear friend and colleague, Nigel Garrard, who so sadly passed away just a few days before the festival.

The following week saw us perform at Langdale Church in Dunstable, and this was a lovely venue for a concert where we were warmly welcomed. The audience seemed to enjoy our singing and appreciate the usual variety of musical styles on offer. The concert raised just over £550 for the Dunstable Food Bank, and we were pleased to be able to help this worthy cause.

The choir continues to go from strength to strength, and this is all credit to our fantastic musical team of  Michelle Garrard and James Banville who work so hard to bring out the best in us. We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Helen Wingate, who stepped in at short notice to lead the choir at the above two events. What a wonderful job she did after just two short rehearsals with us.

The next few months will focus on learning new music and increasing our repertoire, so if you enjoy singing and have ever fancied joining an award-winning choir, now would be a great time to give it a go! We meet every Monday, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church, and all new faces are made very welcome. 

April 2019

What does it mean to be a community choir?  Well our role can be summed up as follows: we exist to bring music to the community, and to bring the community to music. 

Our concerts bring music to the community. They also bring entertainment, the chance of a night out with friends, and often, the opportunity to raise funds for a good cause. Please take a look at the performances page on this website for a list of our forthcoming performances.

We also bring the community to music.  Anyone over the age of sixteen years can join our group and all are welcome, regardless of previous experience, musical knowledge or expertise.  We don’t ask you to audition, and we don’t ask you to pay out a huge amount of money either. For an annual membership fee of just £15, and weekly contribution of £2, choir members have access to an experienced and knowledgeable musical team, who ably guide us through a variety of musical styles, with encouragement, enjoyment and plenty of good humour. You even get a cup of tea and a biscuit included in the price as well!

Having a variety of different styles of music is also important to us as a community choir. It makes us more inclusive if there’s something there for everyone, whether you’re singing with us, or in the audience listening. Some of our members for example, are lovers of classical music. For others, it’s show tunes that hit the right note... or folk music, jazz, rock, or pop.  And it has been known for choir members to discover a love for a genre of music that they may never have discovered if they hadn’t have been introduced to it on a Monday night at choir.

Here is a selection of some of the music currently in our repertoire:

An American Trilogy – Mickey Newbury

And All That Jazz – John Lander and Fred Ebb

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Paul Simon

Danny Boy – Fred E Weatherby and Douglas E Wagner

Domine Fili Unigenite / Gloria – Antonio Vivaldi

Edelweiss / Climb Every Mountain – Rodgers and Hammerstein

Go The Distance – Alan Menken and David Zippel

Irish Blessing – Philip Stopford

Non Nobis Domine – Rudyard Kipling and Roger Quilter

The Rhythm of Life – Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman

You Raise Me Up – Brendan Graham and Rolf Løvland

So if any of this strikes a chord with you, and you would like to find out more about Dagnall Community Choir, please do get in touch, via our website, or by coming along to one of our rehearsals on a Monday night, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church.

***        ***        ***


Early in March, the choir was devastated to learn of the sudden and unexpected death of one of our valued members. Nigel Garrard was the much loved husband of Michelle our musical director, and a dear friend to us all. His powerful bass voice was an asset to the choir, as was his kindness and great sense of humour - those of you who attended our Christmas Concert will remember his rendition of “While Shepherds Watched” to the tune of “Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At!”


We will all miss him greatly.

March 2019

The date of the Milton Keynes Music Festival edges ever nearer, and the choir has been working hard learning and rehearsing our two entry pieces.  We will be singing a beautiful version of “Who Is Sylvia”, words by William Shakespeare, music by George Shearing, and “Non Nobis Domine”, a hymn known to many from their school days, with words by Rudyard Kipling and music by Roger Quilter.  By March 15th, with the help of our superb musical team, we’re sure we will all feel confident of the words, and will have perfected our harmonies, ready to enjoy an evening of music with other choirs from around the local area.


Our 2019 concert schedule will start soon after that with our first concert of the year taking place on Saturday 23rd March 7.30pm at Langdale Church in Dunstable.  This is new venue for us, so we are looking forward to meeting and entertaining folk who may not have previously heard us sing – hopefully they will like what they hear!  This concert will be a fundraiser for the Dunstable Food Bank so if you’d like to come along and listen, your support will be appreciated by this worthy cause as well as by the choir.


With future concerts in mind, we have started learning some new songs to add to our wide ranging repertoire. It’s always a joy to be handed a new piece of sheet music at rehearsal on a Monday evening; a new song to learn can be a challenge, but there is much enjoyment to be had in getting to grips with complicated rhythms, tricky notes, varying dynamics - even more so when we finally get it right!  We’re told that there’s yet more new sheet music on order too, which is very exciting...


As ever, we are keen to welcome any new members to our friendly choir.  We meet on a Monday evening, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church, and would love to see anyone who wishes to join us – just come along, or get in touch via the website.  There’s no audition required, all we request is that you love music and love to sing.  And if this describes you, then we look forward to seeing you soon!

January / February 2019

With the excitement of Christmas and New Year celebrations behind us now, Dagnall Community Choir members are looking forward to the year ahead. 


Our focus for the first part of 2019 is the Milton Keynes Music Festival, where we will be taking part in the Community Choir section on 15th March.  This is the first time that we have entered a music festival, so are looking forward to seeing what goes on, and enjoying some friendly competition with other adult choirs in the local area.  We think our biggest challenge will be performing without our music books, meaning that we have to learn all the words as well as the tune off by heart!!  Luckily only a small part of our chosen song is in Latin, so this shouldn’t be too taxing...


After that, we will be working on new songs, building up our repertoire ready for our main annual concert, scheduled for June this year, rather than in the autumn as it has been in previous years.  Please watch this space for further information.


In the meantime, we will be continuing to enjoy our weekly rehearsals, singing and socialising together, with plenty of fun and much laughter.  Of course, there is always room for more choir members in Dagnall Church on a Monday evening, and a warm welcome for anyone who would like to join us.  So if you have been thinking of taking up a new hobby in 2019, and think singing in a friendly choir might be for you, please do come along – Mondays, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church - we’d love to see you!

December 2018

As we approach the end of 2018, we look back at what has been a busy year for the choir.  By the end of December, we will have sung in a total of eight performances, which have taken place in Luton, Leighton Buzzard, Redbourn, Stanbridge, Little Gaddesden, Eaton Bray, Tilsworth, Stanbridge again and finally this month, Dagnall – it has felt like Dagnall Community Choir on tour at times! 

We have a small band of loyal fans, who delight us by showing up at every performance, and who give us “honest” feedback by email after each show. Their comments have confirmed our own feelings, which are that the choir is going from strength to strength, and that our sound is improving all the time.  The October concert in Little Gaddesden was a particular highlight of 2018, thoroughly enjoyed by both choir members and the audience: 

“Just to say how much we enjoyed the concert on Saturday. The beautiful sound you make in harmony or unison was even better and more evenly balanced. The audience seemed very appreciative and there was a really good atmosphere. We never tire of listening to you and love to hear the way the items improve each time. Congratulations to all the soloists too”

If you have never been to one of our concerts, do put that on your New Year’s resolution list for 2019! They are fun occasions, with a variety of music to appeal to a range of different tastes, and much humour provided by Stephen Holder who usually acts as MC for our events, and Michelle Garrard, our Musical Director.  Many of our concerts are also fundraisers for different charities, so come along and support a worthy cause.

We have welcomed a number of new faces to the choir this year, and sadly have had to say farewell to others. New friendships have been made and existing ones strengthened - the social aspect of DCC is important to all of us.  We support one another through sickness and hard times, and celebrate good times and happy occasions together. Birthdays are marked at our Monday night rehearsals with cake and a song (there seems to be one pretty much every week) and we like to make sure everyone who joins us feels welcomed and part of our warm and friendly group.

Christmas will be an opportunity for us to celebrate this friendship.  Our Christmas concert that takes place on Sunday 16th December at Dagnall Village Hall will be an enjoyable event, with mulled wine and mince pies on offer, and a visit from Santa to delight the children in the audience. All are welcome – there are no tickets, but there will be a bucket collection in aid of Dagnall Village Hall, so please do come along and support this community event. 

We look forward to another productive musical year in 2019, and would love to meet new choir members, or acquire new fans!  For more information about what we do, or to get in touch, please visit our website at www.dagnall-community-choir.co.uk. We would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, we would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas, and a very happy New Year, from Dagnall Community Choir.

November 2018

As the nights draw in and the weather starts to get a bit chillier, those long warm days of summer become nothing more than a distant memory.  But choir members know that there is always a warm welcome on a Monday evening at Dagnall Church, the comfort of friendship and the wonderful enjoyment of singing together.  We love sharing this feeling with new people, so if you love music and singing, and think you might like to join us, please do come along and give it a try.


November is a month of remembrance, and we will be doing our bit to commemorate those that fought, and those that gave their lives in the line of duty. On the 10th November, the Poppy Prom at St Mary’s Church Eaton Bray will provide a wonderful evening of music, and we are pleased to have been asked to take part in this once again.  If there are any tickets left they are £12.50 available from the Box Office on 01525 222283.


On Sunday 11th November, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One will see a number of "Battle's Over" events taking place across the country, and across the Commonwealth, where communities will come together to pay tribute.  We will be joining the commemoration at the Stanbridge and Tilsworth Community Hall, where the beacon will be lit as part of the countrywide “WW1 Beacons of Light” celebration.  The event starts at 5.30pm and all are welcome.


Christmas creeps ever closer, and the remainder of November will be devoted to preparing for our Christmas Concert, which takes place on Sunday 16th December, 3.00pm at Dagnall Village Hall.  We all really look forward to this performance, which this year will be raising money for Dagnall Village Hall, and hope that lots of villagers will be able to join us for what will be a joyful and fun event.  There will be punch and mince pies on offer, and as usual we are expecting a visit from Father Christmas - not to be missed!


It’s been a busy autumn for the choir, with a number of performances having taken place, as well as those still to come.  We are lucky to have a great musical team to direct, encourage and support us, in the form of Michele Garrard and James Banville.  We are equally fortunate to have a wonderful back up accompanist, John Green, who steps in when needed, and we would like to express our gratitude to him for all his invaluable help over the last couple of months, while James has been unavailable. Many thanks John!


If you would like to join us, please feel free to come along to one of our rehearsals, 7.45pm on Monday evenings at Dagnall Church. We would love to see you!

October 2018

October makes the start of a busy few months for the choir.  We are looking forward to our concert on Saturday 13th October, which takes place at Little Gaddesden Village Hall, from 7.30pm.  Entitled “Musical Memories”, this will be a showcase of some of our favourite classical and popular songs, and we are sure will be a fun and entertaining event. 


In November we are pleased to be partaking in events to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1, and in preparation for this, we have been learning some songs from the era.  As usual we will be at the Poppy Prom in Eaton Bray on Saturday 10th November – this is always a excellent night of music and remembrance, and we will be performing once again alongside the South Beds Concert Band, and a guest soloist. 


The following evening, Sunday 11th November, we will be in Tilsworth, taking part in the “Battle’s Over” event at Tilsworth and Stanbridge Community Hall.  This is part of a nationwide day of commemorative events, paying tribute to those who were killed or wounded in battle.  There is lots more information about events throughout the country on the “Battle’s Over” website at www.brunopeek.co.uk.


And the following month of course, it’s Christmas... Our Christmas concert takes place on Sunday 16th December at Dagnall Village Hall, so please put that date in your diary too!


So there’s plenty going on for Dagnall Community Choir, and of course, choir members also get to enjoy our fun and lively Monday evening rehearsals each week as well!  All of us would agree that singing in our choir really is a great experience, and studies have consistently shown that singing helps to relieve stress and promotes wellbeing. 


We would love to share that feeling with others, so if you have been considering joining us, then please don’t hesitate! Come along to Dagnall Church on a Monday evening, 7.45pm.  There’s no audition required to become a member, or a need to be able to read music – just a warm welcome extended to all.

August 2018

Picture the scene: it’s Monday evening, mid July, the height of the summer 2018 heat-wave.  Temperatures are soaring into the high 20s daily. Shops have run out of cold drinks, ice creams, electric fans.  At Dagnall Church, choir members take their seats, fanning themselves with sheet music to keep cool, open their music files, and start to sing... Christmas carols!


Yes, with just a few short months to go, we are now thinking ahead to our autumn/winter concert schedule, and ensuring that we are word perfect, note perfect, and all round perfectly prepared for our Christmas concert on Sunday 16th December.  It’s never too early to begin rehearsals, even when we are all sunburnt, sweltering and still looking forward to our summer holidays!


In the meantime though, we have forthcoming performances at Stanbridge Church on the evening of Friday 14th September, and at Little Gaddesden Village Hall, on Saturday 13th October.  On the programme will be a mixture of popular favourites, classical pieces, show tunes, traditional songs and contemporary musical numbers.  For more information please take a look at our website www.dagnall-community-choir.co.uk.


In addition, in November we will be doing our bit to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, taking part as usual in the magnificent Poppy Prom at Eaton Bray Church on 10th November, then in a special “Battles Over Britain” concert at Tilsworth on the 11th.  This event will include participation from a number of different community groups, so do keep an eye out for further information nearer the time.


So a busy few months ahead for the choir, but as always, lots of enjoyment, fun and laughter in store for all us, both at our Monday evening rehearsals, and whenever we perform.  And we’re always on the lookout for new members, so if you love to sing, and want to be part of our welcoming and friendly group, please don’t hesitate to come along to Dagnall Church on a Monday evening, 7.45pm.  All are guaranteed a warm welcome... no matter what the temperature is outside!

July 2018

One thing that members of Dagnall Community Choir like to do, in addition to singing and sharing our love of music of course, is to raise money for charities and good causes, both local and national. At recent concerts for example, we have been pleased and proud to support Dagnall School, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Motor Neuron Disease Association.


Our June concert at St Mary’s Church at Redbourn gave us the opportunity to support a charity called “Music for my Mind”. Their remit is to bring personalised music to people suffering from dementia, enhancing their quality of life and helping them reconnect with their loved ones and their memories.


Music is, after all, such a powerful tool in evoking memories and emotions. We’ve all experienced that moment when you hear a song on the radio, and it takes you straight back to another time and place, reminding you of the people you were with and the emotions you were feeling.


Choir members have been thinking about some of the songs in our current repertoire, and sharing the memories that the music recalls.  “Non Nobis Domine” was the school song of one of the members of our bass section – he reports that he still feels the same pride and patriotism singing this today as he did when he was one of 500 grammar school boys back in 1970.


“Bohemian Rhapsody” is another song on our list that evokes strong memories – how many can remember watching the groundbreaking video on Top of the Pops for the first time? Or listening to the song over and over again on a jukebox as a teenager?


Songs from the musicals also seem to be memory jerkers, with choir members being transported back to childhood Christmases, watching “Oliver” on television, whenever we sing “Who Will Buy?”.  Meanwhile “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof” causes many a nostalgic tear, as this very moving song about marriage strikes a chord with everyone who has experienced their children growing up and making their own lives.


And in the future of course, we are certain that the songs in our repertoire will always remind choir members of the happy times they spent with Dagnall Community Choir on a Monday evening!


For more information about “Music for my Mind” please visit wwww.musicformymind.com. 


If you would like to join us, and make some “Musical Memories” of your own, please come along to Dagnall Church on a Monday evening at 7.45pm. You would be made most welcome.

June 2018

If you are the sort of person that enjoys an evening stroll during these lovely summer months, and your footsteps take you past Dagnall Church on a Monday evening, you will no doubt hear some beautiful harmonies emanating from within the old building, so please stop to have a listen...  This is Dagnall Community Choir at rehearsal, and I'm sure you will agree that we make a wonderful sound!

If this inspires you to come along to one of our concerts this summer or autumn, then all the better!  We will be performing at St Mary's Church, Redbourn on Saturday 16th June, at St John the Baptist Church, Stanbridge on Friday 14th September, and at Little Gaddesden Village Hall on Saturday 13th October.  

The choir is very lucky to have an expert musical team to encourage and guide us, and with their help we continue to master a wide variety of musical styles, and some increasingly tricky pieces.  Each week, Michelle Garrard, our Musical Director, and James Banville, our accompanist, share with us their expertise, their immense love of music and their shared sense of humour, making rehearsals fun and productive. 

We are equally lucky to have an alternative accompanist, in the form of John Green, who happily (and extremely competently) steps in to play for us in rehearsals and concerts on the occasions where James is unavailable.  We’re very grateful to John for his help at our recent performance at the Salvation Army in Luton, and look forward to welcoming him again to play for us at Redbourn this month.

The choir has grown in size over the last few months, and we have been delighted to welcome so many new faces. Every new member that joins us strengthens our sound and adds to our stature, so we are always on the lookout for recruits!  If you would like to join us then we would love to hear from you. 

And if you are the sort of person that enjoys an evening stroll during these lovely summer months, and your footsteps take you past Dagnall Church at 7.45pm on a Monday evening, then why not open the door, come in and see what we’re up to… you may just find that you want to stay!

May 2018

The month of May heralds warmer days, sunnier skies, and the start of our 2018 concert season!  We are very much looking forward to performing at Leighton Buzzard Theatre on Saturday 12th May, 7.30pm, appearing alongside “Elvis” as part of a concert in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.  Tickets are £12, available from Leighton Buzzard Theatre Box Office 0300 300 8125.


On the evening of Saturday 16th June, we will be singing once again at St Mary’s Church in Redbourn – a favourite venue of ours, where we know we will receive a warm welcome.  Then a break for a couple of months, before concerts at Stanbridge on Friday 14th September and Little Gaddesden on Saturday 13th October.


To whet your appetite, here is a selection of just some of the songs in our current repertoire, from which we will be performing over the coming months:


The 59th Street Bridge Song          Paul Simon

Danny Boy                                        Arr. Douglas E. Wagner

This is the Moment                          Leslie Bricusse, Frank Wildhorn

Domine Fili Unigenite                     Antonio Vivaldi

Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei    From The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins

Over the Rainbow                            E.Y Harburg, Harold Arlen

Nella Fantasia                                   Chiara Ferrau, Ennio Morricone

Non Nobis Domine                          Rudyard Kipling, Roger Quilter

An American Trilogy                        Mickey Newbury

Irish Blessing                                    Philip Stopford

Who Will Buy?                                  Lionel Bart


As you can see, there is something there for everyone, whether your taste be classical music, show tunes, country music… or you just enjoy an evening out being entertained.  Please do come along to one of our concerts – we would love to see you there!


Or if you love singing and think you would perhaps like to join us, then come along to one of our Monday evening rehearsals – 7.45pm at Dagnall Church.  They are a lot of fun and new members are always made welcome.  We are a friendly group who enjoy socialising just as much as singing, and there are plenty of opportunities for choir members to do both!  Everyone had a great time at our recent Barn Dance at Dagnall Village Hall for example, and we’re now all looking forward to a lovely barbecue get-together, later in the summer.

April 2018

The first of our 2018 concert dates is getting closer and we are putting the finishing touches to the numbers that we will perform at Leighton Buzzard Theatre on Saturday 12th May.  We are appearing as part of a charity concert in aid of Macmillan, so we hope that there will be plenty of support and money raised for this worthy cause.  For more information and tickets please contact Leighton Buzzard Theatre Box Office.


Before that though, in April, we will be singing at Luton Salvation Army Church, as guests of the Ladies Fellowship.  This is the third year that we have been invited to one of their Monday evening meetings, and we know that we will get a warm welcome, an appreciative audience, and an array of delicious homemade cakes on offer after our performance!


Choir members were all deeply saddened to hear of the loss of one of our good friends in February this year.  Vicky Lee was one of the founding members of Dagnall Community Choir, a much loved lady with a beautiful soprano voice, who sang with us for several years.  We were honoured to be asked to sing at Vicky’s funeral, and our thoughts remain with her family.


The disruption cause by unexpected snow and freezing temperatures at the beginning of March, almost put paid to the choir weekend away at Potters Resort in Norfolk... Fortunately, the roads did prove to be clear enough for most who had booked to be able to get there, though sadly, some of our party just weren’t able to make it.  Those who went had a marvellous time, enjoying daytime activities, and evening entertainment on a par with West End shows.  Everyone is now looking forward to re-booking for next year, and hoping that the weather will be rather kinder!


Our Monday evening rehearsals continue to be great fun, and we’re really pleased that membership numbers have risen this year - it’s really heartening to have to put out extra chairs for the growing tenor and bass sections!  New faces are always welcome, and we don’t ask you to audition, or require you to be able to read music to join – a love of music and singing is the only qualification we ask for.  Oh and a sense of humour is an advantage too, as there’s always plenty of laughter when we meet up!


So please come along and see for yourself - we meet on a Monday evening, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church and would love to see you!

March 2018

With Spring just around the corner, choir members are looking forward to heading out to choir on a Monday evening in daylight!  Hopefully some warmer weather will also mean a welcome end to all the coughs and colds that can sometimes prevent us from enjoying our favourite pastime of singing...


We are currently busy learning a wealth of new songs for our 2018 concert programme and are making great progress with these.  New additions to our repertoire include classical pieces by Vivaldi and Elgar, and for these, we are having to brush up on our Latin (or rather, for most of us, learn to sing in a completely different language!)  As usual, our accompanist, James, impresses us all with his piano skills and both he and Michelle, our Musical Director, guide us expertly through these more challenging pieces.


We do enjoy quite a range of different musical styles though, and are also looking forward to perfecting and performing a favourite number from the musical “Oliver”, which is also new to us this year.  No doubt there will be more new music to get our teeth into as the year progresses.


Socially, March is going to be a busy month for the choir.  Some of us will be enjoying a fun weekend away at the beginning of the month, at Potters Resort near Great Yarmouth.  Last year’s trip was a great success and all who went appreciated great evening entertainment and of course wonderful company!  We also have our Barn Dance at Dagnall Village Hall later this month, which is guaranteed to be a fabulous knees-up with great food and music.


Our concert schedule starts in May with an appearance at Leighton Buzzard Theatre on Saturday 12th May.  This is a charity concert in aid of Macmillan, and we will be appearing alongside an Elvis tribute band, so a rockin’ good night is in store, all for a great cause!  Tickets can be booked through the Leighton Buzzard Theatre Box Office.


Or of course, you could come and join us!  We are always keen to welcome new members, and particularly need more male voices.  If singing in a choir is something that you have always wanted to do, please do come along on a Monday evening – we meet at 7.45pm at Dagnall Church.  We would love to see you!

January 2018

A busy 2018 is in store for Dagnall Community  Choir. 

We started the year on a positive note, with some new faces joining us at our Monday evening rehearsals, some new songs to learn, and some old favourites from the DCC archives being revived and perfected. 


The choir has been in existence for eight years now, and we are really quite proud of how far we have come in this time. We feel that we have improved and developed greatly over the years, becoming now a rather accomplished and well regarded musical group. This is borne out by some of the lovely positive comments that we have received following recent performances, which indicate that we are going from strength to strength. We really appreciate this feedback from our “fans”, so thank you to all of you that have come along to any of our concerts. Your support and enjoyment of our efforts makes it all worthwhile! 


Our concert schedule for this year is full and varied, so if you want to hear us sing, there is plenty of opportunity in 2018 – put these dates in your diary now: 


Saturday 12th May – Leighton Buzzard Theatre (Macmillan Cancer Support benefit) 

Saturday 16th June – St Mary’s Church, Redbourn 

Saturday 13th October – Little Gaddesden Village Hall 

Saturday 10th November – Poppy Prom, St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray  

Sunday 16th December – Christmas Concert, Dagnall Village Hall 


Or maybe you would like join in and sing with us? We are always keen to recruit new members, so please do come along on a Monday night, 7.45pm at Dagnall Church. You are guaranteed a warm welcome! 


And as well as all the enjoyment of singing together, choir members get the chance to join in with a fun social life, with a Barn Dance planned for March, a Potters Resort weekend away, then a barbecue and theatre trip later in the year... there is always something to look forward to!

Please reload