Rye children’s choir is something to sing about

Marian Ham, founder of the Rye Area Children's Community Choir SUS-170117-133519001
Marian Ham, founder of the Rye Area Children's Community Choir SUS-170117-133519001

Youngsters in the local area have the chance to put their vocal chords to the test and join the Rye Area Children’s Community Choir which has just been launched.

Founder of the Rye Area Children’s Community Choir (RACCC) is former teacher Marian Ham who says right from being a child herself she has always had a love of music and singing. “As a family we sang together, sang in the local church choir and I also learned to play the piano from the age of seven.

“When I started my teaching career in 1978, I loved teaching music to children of all ages, especially singing together. Singing and music are hugely beneficial in building self-confidence with children (and adults) and in developing a sense of well-being and value.”

Marian was Headteacher at Sedlescombe CE Primary School for twenty five years and led the school choir. “Throughout my teaching career, teaching singing has been a big part of my work in all schools - running after-school choir clubs in particular - how lucky I have been!”

Marion never auditions children as she firmly believes that children’s choirs should be fully inclusive.

“I know that children can definitely improve at singing in tune if given the chance,” she said.

“The two stipulations for joining my choirs have always been that the child must enjoy singing and must want to come along.

“I have seen children grow in confidence enormously, have much fun and enjoyment through being a member of the school choir. This is an amazing feeling.”

Marion retired in August 2016 but missed singing with children and was inspired to start up a community choir. “I live in Playden and thought I would investigate the possibility of starting a Rye Area Children’s Community Choir for children, aged 7-11, who love to sing and live in the Rye and surrounding area.

“I hope this opportunity will be welcomed by families and schools, and that many children will want to take part and join the RACCC.”

The RACCC takes place during term times, at Peasmarsh Memorial Hall, Thursdays 3.50-4.50pm. It commences with two free taster sessions on February 2 and 9 and formally begins on February 23 with a weekly fee of £4 per child.

If successful, Marion says she would like to take the RACCC out into the community and to perform concerts.

Children can be registered either at the taster sessions or via Marian’s email at: dmham128@btinternet.com