Swindon Community Choir is a choir with a difference. Members don’t have to be a particular standard or able to read music. They don't have to audition or make a regular commitment.

“All you need is a love of singing,” said Linda Lee, founder of the choir.

“We are an informal, friendly and supportive choir which anyone can be part of. We have sessions, not rehearsals, where we learn new songs and have fun. We sometimes perform but that’s not the main aim. This is for us to come together and have fun," she added.

Songs are learnt in two, three or four part harmony, taught simultaneously by song leaders to small groups. These are then brought together for the final effect.

“In a lot of choirs, you just have the one teacher, and they go from part to part while everyone else gets bored and restless or forgets what they’ve learnt. This is a really quick way of making a really beautiful sound,” said Mrs Lee.

The choir was started in 2000 after Mrs Lee attended a similar one in Bristol.

“There wasn’t anything like that in Swindon. No informal choirs without auditions where you could learn beautiful songs in harmony. I couldn’t keep going over to Bristol so I thought I would set something up.

“And it just grew from there. Both the Marlborough Community Choir and the Cirencester Community choir all came from past members.”

The choir follows the principles of the natural voice network, which says that singing is everyone’s birthright, regardless of musical experience or ability.

“This just appealed to me,” said Mrs Lee.

“That non-judgemental, inclusivity, encouraging everyone and anyone to sing and making singing more accessible to people.”

The choir consists of two groups, one which sing on Monday nights between 7.30pm - 9.30pm at the Central Community Centre, Emlyn Square, and one on Tuesdays between 3pm-4.30pm at Lower Shaw Farm, West Swindon.

“It is a wonderful way for people to connect and feel part of a community while experiencing the uplifting benefits of singing,” added Mrs Lee.