Meet the new Harrogate choir where friendship and amazing music grows
The growing popularity of an up-and-coming Harrogate choir is living proof that loss can give birth to new beginnings.
When much-loved district-wide choir Rock Up and Sing! disbanded in June after 10 amazing years - a difficult decision not taken lightly by its renowned founder and director Rhiannon Gayle - many members wondered what could possibly fill the hole left behind by something that brought them friendship and so much joy.
But now, these very same former members have paved the way for a new era by launching a new choir, Reincantation, that is independent of Rock Up, and has its own unique identity, while giving a respectful nod to the inspirational legacy of what came before it.
With a membership that is already 140-strong, the choir’s diary is already filling up with strings of bookings - their first stunning performance being at the Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars just two weeks ago.
Richard Hayter and Matt Truscott, who are both part of Reincantation, said they would love to see new members becoming a part of their close-knit choir family.
Richard said: “I felt devastated when Rock Up and Sing! ended, and we didn’t want the buzz to end. You don't always realise the full extent of how vital something is to your life until you face the threat of it disappearing - I thought, these are my friends, I can't survive without seeing them, we must do something to keep what we have going.
"We have great fun singing, but it’s also about so much more than that - it’s the wonderful friendships you form along the way. We are truly a community choir, and what makes us unique is that it’s not just going to be rock, gospel and pop that we do - there is nothing we won’t sing, whether it’s choral music or gangsta rap."
Matt said: "I've been singing in different choirs for about nine years now - all not auditioned for, and I couldn't sing when i started. It was a great way to de-stress during university, and the buzz of performing never gets old.
"Choral singing has proven health benefits, both physical and psychological, and you get a real sense of community when singing with a group of people. It's a great way to make long-lasting friendships, and you meet such a huge cross-section of people - especially in a big choir like Reincantation.
"I feel like the sound you hear when listening to choirs has a way of touching the heart and soul like no other type of music, it's the collection of individual voices coming together to form something unique and wonderful."
Reincantation prides itself on being an inclusive, friendly and fun choir that has a strong social dimension to it - like Rock Up, friendships naturally blossom and flourish.
And whatever your age, background or occupation, music is a common denominator that brings people together. Any worries, troubles or stresses of everyday life dissolve in that moment when the choir family comes together on stage and gives it their all.
Richard said: "Wonderful friendships form through choir, we support each other just like human beings should - we need each other.
"That buzz you get when you walk out on stage together is amazing. And when you see people standing there, just clapping and cheering, smiling and shaking your hand, knowing that you have absolutely nailed that song you have worked hard on for weeks, it's just the best feeling. Music just produces that emotional response in you.
"I think what Rhiannon Gayle gave us as members of Rock Up and Sing! was incredibly inspirational, and now this is our way of keeping that buzz going."
Reincantation is on the look-out for new members, and would particularly like to hear from tenors. Email [email protected] to get in touch, or click here to visit the choir's website. Reincantation also has a Facebook page - click here to see their posts.
Upcoming performances: Where you can see Reincantation live
November 28 - RHS Garden Harlow Carr, 5pm to 7pm at the winter illuminations 'glow' festival.
December 14 at Ripon Cathedral for this year's Christmas Spectacular concert.
Stay up to date with all of the choir's upcoming performances via the Reincantation website and Facebook page.