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Heartbeat celebrates 20th Anniversary

Julia Davenport-Brown

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Heartbeat ChorusMarpleBolesworth CastleTattenhallNancy Kelsall

The ladies of Heartbeat Chorus

As 2017 drew to a close the ladies of Heartbeat Chorus, the Marple based accapella champion choir, toasted not just another successful year in the spotlight, but also twenty years since they were founded.

In September the 80 member choir took central stage at Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall, after winning the inaugural Great British Prom Choir Competition.  The chorus, who are no strangers to success, were thrilled to be on the same bill as Russell Watson, The National Symphony orchestra, Only Men Aloud and Annette Wardell.  The choir sang a rousing rendition of Jerusalem in a concert that captured the spirit of the last night of the proms with traditional music from across the U.K. Heartbeat were chosen from a strong field of finalists, but it was their dynamic sound and visual impact that ultimately won them the day. The ladies had massive support from the public with over 4,000 votes for their taster clip on Facebook and ultimately secured the casting vote from chief judge,  Anthony Inglis, the conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Nancy Kelsall, the Musical Director of Heartbeat Chorus said: ‘The choir absolutely loved performing at the Great British Prom. Bolesworth Castle provided a magnificent backdrop to a memorable event.’

Heartbeat Chorus

Heartbeat followed up their Great British Prom triumph by also being crowned International Champions at the Irish Association of Barbershop Singers this autumn, adding to their list of successes in recent years including Sweet Adelines UK Champions in 2015. 

Last year the choir took their melodious sound across the Atlantic to compete in Las Vegas against groups from the USA, Europe and Australia at the Sweet Adelines International Competition. They were placed 19th in the world, a superb achievement . Closer to home local people may have seen the chorus when they put on their own sell-out show, ‘Rockappella’, at  the Stockport Plaza Theatre where they were joined by several other top barbershop quartets from across the North West and the award winning  Marple Band.

 ‘We all share a passion to sing and compete at a high level and we take great pride in what we do, says Nancy.  However, to become a member of Heartbeat you don’t need to have sung before, or be able to read music.’

‘Many of the ladies tell me how learning to sing in harmony and perform for an audience has boosted their self confidence, helped them make new friends and given them hours of fun.’

Heartbeat Chorus rehearse every Thursday evening at Chadkirk Business Park and applications from would be new members are always welcome.

As well as performing and entertaining, some members of the group are also involved in outreach work in the local community.

‘We have a specially trained team of choir members who visit residential homes and do singing workshops particularly with dementia sufferers, explains Nancy. ‘Singing has been proved to be beneficial to patients with memory problems, particularly songs they remember from their youth’.

In August, Stockport Council awarded the group a grant of £750 towards the cost of funding a five week Learn to Sing course which will help with this valuable work.

Words of course can’t capture the magic of seeing a performance, so to see the ladies in action watch their latest video on vimeo.com/238743536.