Amy

 

What section do you sing in?

All of them!

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

In my previous bio written in 2020 I said I joined in 2013, which was incorrect! I joined in 2011 as a singer and started directing in September 2011, so 12 years.

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I had come home to Ludlow after studying Maths with Music at Leeds university and I REALLY wanted to be in a choir. After a chance meeting in a local pub in December 2010, I was asked to audition and luckily they asked me to join!

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

It means the world. The group has changed beyond recognition in the last 12 years and sometimes that has been hard to deal with and manage, but the support of these wonderful women has meant that we have got through. Every rehearsal is different, but always full of laughter and most of all talent. Sometimes I think I’m asking too much of them, but they just come back the next week and give 110% again.

As director I do work hard behind the scenes, but the reward is hearing the girls sing so beautifully together. I give as good as I get – and vice versa!

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

It very much depends on my mood or the situation I’m in. I love anything with a funky bass line or a strong rhythm. I love a sing-a-long in the car, especially if I’m not driving so that I can play the air drums! If I listen to music to fall asleep to, it has to be something without words and that I don’t know, otherwise I end up either singing along or tapping my feet.

Who is your favourite singer?

I do love a bit of Gary Barlow. And I like to sing along with Dido.

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I am a born and bred Ludlovian. I live in Ludlow with my partner Peter. We have a one year old cavapoo called Red and a 7ish year old cat called Mojo. I am an accountant and I work for a local auctioneers. I love to cook and eat and spend as much time with friends and family as I can.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

One of my most memorable moments was early on in my directorship. We were performing ‘I Will Follow Him’ from Sister Act and I wasn’t using the score. I got stuck in a loop and couldn’t get us out of it! I think we sang the chorus about 5 times!

Another memory, again from the early days was when we performed at Christmas in St Peter’s Catholic Church in Ludlow. Before the audience arrived I gathered the choir into performance stance and asked them to sing a B flat major chord in 4-part harmony. None of us were expecting the sound that was created and we all melted!

A more recent memory is from this year’s Llangollen Eisteddfod. It was our first time performing there and the girls did SUCH a good job. At the end of our performance I did a spontaneous Frankie Dettori dismount from my ‘podium’ and thought I was going to go through the stage!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Oh there are so many!

Dancing Queen, I Will Follow Him, This Is Me, Bohemian Rhapsody.... and at Christmas: O Holy Night, Mary Did You Know and one of our new ones Hail Holy Queen, which I can’t wait to perform!


November 2023 

Melanie

 

What section do you sing in?

Tenors

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

18 months

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I went to hear them in concert at Ludlow Assembly Rooms and was blown away. At the time I had just left an SATB choir and was looking for a challenge. My partner and I approached Amy to ask if they were accepting new members and the rest is history!

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

It’s a lifeline. I always look forward to singing with Bella to keep my pipes in order! I value each and everyone of them as a huge support network and am blessed every time I am in their presence.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Jazz, easy listening, musicals ahhhh, I can’t choose one!

Who is your favourite singer?

Katherine Jenkins

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Married to Sharon (bari) and we live in the beautiful Shropshire countryside with our springer spaniel Jazz. I love to cook and enjoy having family and friends’ round for dinner, playing the piano and solo singing at funerals, weddings and with two symphonic wind ensembles. Secret fact: I LOVE crisps!

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Singing ‘Maybe this time’ at the Eisteddfod in 2022. It’s a really tricky song and we absolutely nailed it. It felt amazing.

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Dancing queen – it just brings so much joy to the audience, and to us when we sing it. I remember singing it at Amy’s 40th, it still makes me emotional now, it just brings us altogether and we sing our hearts out.


November 2023

George

What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since September 2017

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I am, and have always been, someone who loves to sing but never considered joining a ‘choir’ and certainly never dreamed of performing in public.  I heard Bella sing and it was incredible.  My friend Steph, who is also a Bari, encouraged me to join.

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Being a member of Bella means the world to me.  I love the buzz I get when we perform a song, particularly something complex, but, also, I can honestly say that the girls in Bella Acappella are the strongest and most supportive group of women I have ever encountered.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Tough as I love most music apart from Jazz (sorry Mel!).  Easy listening, country, bluegrass, funk, soul.

Who is your favourite singer?

Another tough one and can’t really choose. Alison Krauss, Christina Perri, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I live in a rural spot just outside Ludlow with my husband, Tim, and two springer spaniels.  I have recently retired but I have a huge garden and like to keep fit with running, gym workouts, walking etc. So I keep pretty busy.  I love to travel and have had quite a few solo long haul adventures. 

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Singing at the Monmouth Choir Festival in front of probably our biggest audience ever – about 400 people.  Their response to us was amazing.  Also, Eisteddfod in the summer of 2023 but, strangely, the sing-off in the bar tent between Bella and a very well known Welsh Male Voice Choir sticks in my memory as it was spontaneous and fun but we all sung brilliantly.  My first Christmas concert with Bella, which was the first time my husband had everseen us perform.  His expectations were pretty low but he was so blown away that he was the first person on his feet applauding at the end!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I have such a soft spot for Goodnight Sweetheart.  Mary Did You Know is a beautiful Christmas song.  However, I think my new favourite is One Day Like This.


November 2023

Kelly

 

What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Just over a year

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I heard the most wonderful choir singing on a local radio station whilst driving home from work one day – it gave me goose bumps in the car the sound was so wonderful! I was pleased to hear Amy on the radio saying they were looking for new recruits and having just moved to the area I didn’t think I would be lucky enough to find such a good choir locally. I was delighted when I heard Amy say they were based in Ludlow! I emailed that same evening and joined the next week! Since having my children I haven’t have a lot of time to engage with local music groups and now that my children are a little older I was ready to start singing again.

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Being a member of Bella is a really unique experience because not only am I able to be part of some glorious music-making it is also about the community of women involved. I have been in a few different choirs over the years, but Bella really is something quite special and different. It is the perfect amalgamation of brilliant direction, amazing repertoire and arrangements and a collegiate group of women who listen to each other and enjoy each other’s company both on and off the stage.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

My spotify play lists will show you that I have a very eclectic taste in music. My ‘go-to’ genres that I will listen to on a regular basis include post-grunge rock (e.g. Foo Fighters), progressive metal (Muse), progressive rock (lots of 70s bands!), modern country (Suzi Bogguss, Gretchen Wilson) and I also love classical music (specifically composers of the Romantic period including Saint-Saens) and film scores (most notably the works of John Williams, Alan Silvestri and Bernard Herrmann). In the month of May I will listen to nothing except my Eurovision playlist (guilty pleasure!).

Who is your favourite singer?

I have many singers who I love but my true favourite is Doris Day. She used to sing so effortlessly and her talent never ceased to amaze me. I was also a huge Kylie fan when I was little (still am!) and my karaoke favourite to sing along to is always Avril Lavigne. Another favourite singer who I have seen live on ten occasions is Roger Hodgson, the ex-lead singer of the 70s prog rock band, Supertramp. I’ve travelled the country to see him perform live in Birmingham, London, Ipswich and Newcastle to name a few. If he’s ever on tour, I guarantee you I will be there! Roger Hodgson has a really interesting vocal range!

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Outside of Bella I am a mother to two lovely boys who keep me very busy! We only recently moved to Ludlow last summer and our family already love living here - we have met so many wonderful people who have become friends for life. During the week I work at Birmingham City University as Senior Lecturer in Music Education and Programme Leader for the PGCE Secondary course. I was previously a secondary school music teacher before moving into teacher education and my day job also involves being an external examiner for teacher training programmes in Huddersfield and Essex and for the International Baccalaureate Music Programme. My first degree was in composing and I would love to spend more time composing again in the coming years – my ambition is compose a Christmas song for Bella next year. In the small amount of spare time that I do have (which isn’t a lot!) I am also the secretary for Ludlow Rugby Club – you will often find me cheering on the lads on a Saturday down at The Linney.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

My most memorable moment was singing ‘Maybe This Time’ at Eisteddfod in the summer of 2023. The whole experience of going to Eisteddfod with Bella was wonderful in itself but the particular moment when we sang ‘Maybe This Time’ gave me goose bumps. Having worked SO hard on mastering quite a tricky song, we absolutely nailed it and that performance in particular I think was really memorable.

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I have two favourites – my favourite Christmas song is ‘Mary Did You Know’ – not only because the Baritones get a starring role but because the arrangement is so beautiful. My other favourite song to sing with Bella is ‘Water of Tyne’ – it’s a very lilting song with powerful yet peaceful lyrics.


November 2023

Rose

What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

15 months

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I love singing; I wanted to join a choir

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Being part of Bella is wonderful, my first night I came to see Bella with a view to joining was amazing I had goose bumps.  Very friendly group of ladies.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Pop, Soul, and Blues

Who is your favourite singer?

I don’t really have a favourite singer but seeing Tina Turner live 3 times she was amazing

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I live in Church Stretton with my husband and dog Lola.  We are fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty where we have amazing walks over the Longmynd.
I sing and play guitar and attend open mics in local pubs, which I enjoy very much.  I am learning to jiveand do a little running

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Performing in my first concert and performing at Llangollen Eisteddfod with the choir and when I did my solo guitar in the summer concert with the choir joining in, it was amazing!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Unchained Melody and Mary Did You Know


November 2023

Fiona

What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

I joined in Jan 23, so just under a year

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I moved to Ludlow in 2023 and wanted to find a way to meet people and make friends. I’ve always loved singing, so thought a choir would be a great way to do this.

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

It means being part of a gang who’ve got your back, a place to have fun and create something special together.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Totally depends on my mood – but currently a combo of Afrobeats and amazing solo female vocalists

Who is your favourite singer?

This is too hard! Gwyneth Herbet, Laura Mvula, Bon Jovi …

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I’m the Executive Director of Theatre for a Change, an international women’s rights organisation. I am also a board member of Ludlow Assembly Rooms. I have a brilliant, funny toddler and when I’m not travelling for work, I am enjoying discovering my new home town with him and my partner.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Singing in the Buttercross for the first time one hot evening last summer – the acoustics were amazing and it was special to watch people stop and listen and enjoy our rehearsal.

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I love Water of Tyne, all swaying together!


November 2023

Holly

What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since February 2023

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I was new to the area and wanted to make new friends while doing something that I loved. Being part of a choir is to be part of something greater than the sum of its parts (and sounds incredible) – and that’s definitely true of the Bellas!

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Becoming a Bella has been amazing: we are a supportive group of warm, funny and caring women. There’s such wonderful camaraderie. Singing and socialising together has been so elating and I always leave our rehearsals on a high. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made!

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Folk music and hardcore acid techno…

Who is your favourite singer?

Probably Sandy Denny from Fairport Convention.

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Living in blissful rural seclusion with my husband; working from home as a freelance editor specialising in sustainable development research; walking the beautiful Shropshire hills; writing a time-travelling fantasy novel.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

The bus drive home after we performed at the Eisteddfod in July 2023, with everyone singing!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Water of Tyne (and we’ve also sung this together at the pub a few times). When we sang, “Oh bring me the boatman”, I suddenly realised that it’s a song about a woman deciding to take control of her own destiny. She’s going to get across that river, come what may 😉


November 2023

Lorraine


What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since September 2022

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

Because I enjoy singing & thought it would be nice to get together with others who also had a love for singing.  I was also looking for a group that would help boost my confidence through singing and socially.

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I feel like I am part of a special family of women, who enjoy spending time together & very much look out for each other. 

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Soul & R & B

Who is your favourite singer?

I have many singers I enjoy listening to so very hard to pick a favourite but my top three are George Michael, Luther Vandross & Sam Smith.

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I’m lucky enough to have retired early, live in a village outside Ludlow, married with 2 boys (both in their late twenties & no longer living at home). I attend a Pilates class once a week, enjoy cycling (but only in the fair weather), volunteer in the village library & help out at a monthly lunch for the older residents of our village & surrounding villages. Enjoy travelling & going to music/comedy gigs.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Performing at Eisteddfod 2023 & seeing all the other choirs having such a fantastic time.

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Another difficult one to answer as I like so many of the songs but if I was pushed I’d have to say “Softly As I Leave You” & second to that “Mary Did You Know”.


November 2023

Shannon

What section do you sing in?

Tenor

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Two months

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

Wanted to get back into singing and socialise to help my mental health.

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Being a Bella makes me feel included and wanted. Like having a second family! Being a Bella makes me feel more confident within myself!

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I love any genre from rock to pop and religious rock! Oh and musicals!

Who is your favourite singer?

Taylor swift. At the moment. Ask me next week it will be different!

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Outside of Bellas I volunteer at Pricklebums hedgehog rescue helping out in any way I can. At the moment, I'm unemployed due to disability but spend a lot of time with my cat Stanley!

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

It's too early to say what my memorable Bella moment is but I think rehearsals are always my favourite.

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

My favourite song to sing at Bella at the moment is Mary did you know! Longer I'm with Bella my answer will change! 

November 2023

Sue B


What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

I joined in September 2018, so just over 5 years now

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I was relatively new to the area and looking for the opportunity to make new friends and have some fun too.  I saw Bella sing at the Methodist Church and was impressed – and they certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves too!  I enjoy singing and was always in my school choirs so I joined Bella

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

It's wonderful to be part of a team of amazing women who support each other.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Ooh, so hard to choose.  I listen to a broad range – rock, soul, blues, classical – whatever is my mood at that moment. 

Who is your favourite singer?

Again difficult.  Chris Rea, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Knopfler are those I probably listen to most.  But then there's Queen (for when I do the ironing!), or 60's/70's pop (well I am a Scouser by birth!)

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I live in Ludlow with my husband and cat.  I enjoy Pilates, walking, socialising with friends over good food – one of the reasons we moved to Ludlow!  And I'm passionate about travel and take every opportunity to visit new places.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

The feeling at my first concert performance, watching the audience's faces and hearing the applause.  Also singing in the Buttercross when we could finally start singing again after Lock Down – the acoustics were amazing and it was so good to be back together again after all the Zoom calls!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Difficult as I like so many but maybe Bohemian Rhapsody, One Day Like This, O Holy Night and Hallelujah


November 2023

 

Grace

What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since January 2023

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

We moved to the area in 2021 and I had to leave my choir at our old home.  I wanted to be part of a community and make new friends. I find singing so uplifting and good for my mental health and helping with anxiety. A huge thank you to Harriet for hooking me in and getting me to come along

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I love the lively free-spirited vibe of the Bellas. Being in the company of such creative lively, talented funny, compassionate accepting individuals is a total privilege.  The quality of sound we produce is awesome and blows me away. I love those hairs on the back of the neck moments. Rehearsals feel such a safe space to be able to express yourself and be part of something amazing.  I get home each week and feel brilliant

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Jazz - Modern and Latin - world music, folk, progressive rock, R&B, soul, classical particularly guitar,  piano and cello (definitely no choral or opera)

Who is your favourite singer?

So many to choose from so we will stick to the female greats   - Ella, Billy and Nina the great jazz divas.  Joni Michell, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Aretha franklin, Barbra Streisand, Amy Winehouse with a touch of  Adele & Pink  -  you get my drift

What does your life look like outside of Bella?

Home is tucked up a valley about 4 miles from Church Stretton that I share with my husband Andrew and our old English sheepdog Dexter. We have a small woodland and meadow that we manage for wildlife and biodiversity. I also love growing our own fruit and vegetables. My next project is to get a small polytunnel up and running. It’s physically demanding but I love working outside and being close to nature; it keeps me fit and I am learning new things all the time.  I teach yoga and am a sound practitioner. My classes are a niche form of yoga designed to help manage stress and anxiety by incorporating principles of vagus nerve, hormonal balance and positive psychology theories and techniques. I also hold regular sound bath events with my quintet of gongs that are awesome

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Eisteddfod 2023 -singing “Maybe This Time” was very special but the bar tent sing off and coach trip home saw Bella’s in full hair down mode. Awesome

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I love the energy of “Don’t Stop Me Now”, the lilt and emotion of “Water of Tyne” and “Hail Holy Queen” is such good fun song to sing

November 2023


Sue M

What section do you sing in?

Bass

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

One year

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I heard them and they were brilliant! They obviously enjoy singing and performing and they raise money for charity! I wanted to be part of that

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I love being a part of this friendly, talented group and learning new, delightful songs

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Anything I can dance to, especially reggae and soul

Who is your favourite singer?

It’s still Marvin Gaye

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Jeweller, volunteer at Ludlow Assembly Rooms, enjoy cooking new recipes, eating (!), wild swimming, walking and, most of all, my family

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

My first public performance at Ludlow Christmas lights switch on 2022

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Mary did you know

November 2023

Harriet

What section do you sing in?

Baritone

 I started in the Bass section and moved to the Baris after my first few months with Bella as I found it suits my range better.  I still get tempted to join in with the Basses when they get the really good bits though …

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

My first rehearsal was 6 October 22, so I’ve just had my first Bellaversary.  Is that a thing?  Well, it will be now!

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I sang in a few choirs in my childhood and teens, then didn’t sing with a group again for years. I’d always wanted to jump back in, but never found the right circumstances.  Last year I bumped into my fellow Bella, Rose, one day and she was bubbling over with excitement at having found The Choir.  She brought me along to a rehearsal and I was blown away by the combination of musicality, camaraderie, and sheer fun that makes up Bella

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

More and more as time goes by!  Imagine suddenly being given a whole bunch of funny, supportive, talented friends – sometimes outrageous, sometimes warmly caring.  Now add the magic of singing acappella, shoulder to shoulder

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I tend to go through phases – electro swing, opera, blues, metal, baroque, rock, soul ….

Who is your favourite singer?

I really enjoy distinctive voices – Eartha Kitt, K.D. Lang, Jimi Hendrix, Mika, Louis Armstrong, Freddie Mercury. On the classical side I love a good soaring mezzo/soprano; Cecilia Bartoli, Victoria de los Ángeles, Renée Fleming, Katharine Jenkins. This is too hard!

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I moved to Shropshire from Kent in May 2020, just after the first Coronavirus lockdown was eased. I’m taking a break from work at the moment and spend a lot of time running and walking in the hills around Church Stretton where I live, with my husband and a simple-minded cat. I have a son studying music and a daughter who is a keen swing dancer (when she’s not studying biology) so there’s an eclectic soundtrack to life when they’re back home. I am responsible for my house containing an unseemly amount of books and yarn, which I like to think of as effective insulation

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Rehearsing in the Buttercross in the hot summer evenings, with passers-by stopping to listen and smile was very special. The Llangollen Eisteddfod was the most incredible day though, listening to some truly inspirational choral singing and singing our little hearts out in between the epic rain-storms

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Hallelujah for atmosphere, Mary Did You Know for interplay between the parts, Santa Baby for barbershop harmonies, Dancing Queen for belting energy.  Often, new songs will become favourites as we work on them, explore the details and discover how best to perform them

November 2023

Steph

What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

I have been singing with Bella for around 11 years. I joined just after Amy took over directing the group

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

Amy and I were in a choir at School together called Ludlow School Gospel Choir. It was just a chance meeting I had with Amy in the Globe Thai Bar that I found out about Bella Acappella. Amy and I chatted about our school choir days and she told me she was now a Director of a female four part harmony group and they were going to be holding auditions. I was really keen to have a go but a little afraid at the same time that I wouldn’t be good enough. Anyway, I plucked up the courage to try and I’ve never looked back! One of the best things I’ve ever done!

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Being a member of Bella is a huge part of me. I love singing but obviously being part of a group like Bella is not just about the singing. I love meeting new people and have met so many wonderful people by being a member of Bella. Everyone is unique and brings something different to the group. We are a very supportive group and there really feels a strong ‘team’ ethic. At rehearsals it really is a time to switch off from everything going on outside of the rehearsal and we also love socialising  and a few beverages in the pub!!!!!  I have loved watching members grow in confidence and then listen to them perform their own individual solos at concerts.

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I like many genres of music but particularly Pop, Dance and cheesy stuff!

Who is your favourite singer?

I have many favourite singers! I love Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Adele, Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Beverley Knight...... the list could go on!

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I have lived in Ludlow all of my life. I have a busy family and social life and work for our family business selling antique pine furniture (D & J Hunt Antiques). I am a member of Ludlow Race Course and enjoy race days. I now enjoy spending a lot of time in our second home – Devon. I love to be by the sea!

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Wow there are many..............  Being part of learning the first song Amy directed which was ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.  The first concert my friends and family came to and realised how good we were!  Hearing the acoustics singing in St Peters Church and the Buttercross for the first time.  All of the lovely weddings we have sung at.  Everything we have been involved in for charity.  Singing at Monmouth Choir Festival - we were great!  Having sing offs with other groups in the beer tent at Llangollen Eisteddfod in the pouring rain!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

There are also many of these............   I Will Follow Him, Hallelujah, Battle Hymn Of The Republic, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Coldplay Medley, When I’m 64, Dancing Queen, This Is Me, One Day Like This, My Guy, Goodnight Sweetheart, Rhythm Of Life, Time After Time

November 2023

Nikki


What section do you sing in?

Tenor

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since 2017

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I‘ve always loved to sing but hadn’t sung with a choir for quite a few years. A friend told me about Bella Acappella and it was just the right moment in my life to start group singing again

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Creating music with others is such a wonderful feeling, and there is great satisfaction on working hard on a song and then having it all come together in a performance. But it is also about making new friends, having a sense of belonging, and lots of laughing

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I love musical theatre but really it’s anything that I can sing along to

Who is your favourite singer?

Eva Cassidy

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

My day job is training new primary teachers at Worcester University, having taught in primary schools for a lot of years. Most of my down time is spent playing with my grandchildren, but I also love to go sailing on Chelmarsh reservoir with my husband Andrew. Being involved in local church is another big part of my life

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

I think it has to be the impromptu singing – on the coach, in the pub …

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Water of Tyne

November 2023

Cally


What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since 2017 so six or seven years 

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I had heard them sing and wanted to be a part of them but had commitments elsewhere so I waited until I could give it my all

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I love everything about it – our weekly rehearsals where we get to grips with songs old and new, the challenge of learning some often quite tricky harmonies – as a baritone (mustard on the sandwich!) it’s more often than not rather tricky.  I love performing in different venues to all sorts of audiences – always hoping that they enjoy listening as much as we enjoy singing. Then of course there’s the camaraderie, regularly meeting together with a fabulous group of women. It’s so good for you

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I enjoy all sorts of music but listen mostly to contemporary Christian music.  Just so much fabulous music out there. I’m an old school Northern Soul girl at heart but love a musical too. Both my sons are guitar players so I’ve listened to more than my fair share of heavy metal and developed quite a liking for it

Who is your favourite singer?

My all-time favourites are Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand plus many real old timers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, a bit of Tom Jones (old school), George Benson, Al Green, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, a bit of Lionel Richie goes down well too, Adele, Take That, so many

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Born and bred local girl. Married to Caddy for over 40 years. We have two adult sons and three grandchildren who we like to spend as much time with as possible. I’m also very fortunate to have my three sisters and their families fairly nearby. I’ve been part of another choir for around 15 years and on Sundays can often be found strumming away as I lead worship at the church I attend.  I have worked in early years for the past 20ish years and still work two days a week at a local primary school

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

When the choir sang at my son’s wedding – amazing – I was so proud to be a Bella! We sang at Monmouth Choir Festival in front of a huge crowd of other choirs and a panel – the feedback from the other choirs blew me away, we smashed it!  Some of our ‘after show’ social gatherings have been pretty spectacular too – impromptu singing and just spreading our joy whenever we can

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I love nearly everything we do but if pressed I’d have to say Unchained Melody, Bohemian Rhapsody and Mary Did You Know

November 2023

Tish

What section do you sing in?

Bass

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since June 2021

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I’ve known Baritone Steph for years and she mentioned joining Bella after a karaoke night! I changed jobs and had more free time so I signed up! 

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

There is such a warmth to the group which is what makes it such a lovely choir to be part of. You can forget all of the stresses of the day and just focus on the music

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Probably pop music but I like quite a range of styles

Who is your favourite singer?

Obviously the legendary Miss Britney Spears! Also a big fan of Queen and 90’s boy bands!

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I live in Tenbury Wells with my husband Ben. We have two cats and two dogs and have been focusing on making improvements to our new home

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Any time we have sung in the Buttercross because of the beautiful acoustics. Performing at Cally’s son’s wedding. It was a lovely day and it was such an honour to be part of it

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Hail Holy Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody and Water of Tyne

December 2023

Alexa


What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since February 2022

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I used to sing a lot when I was younger, in choirs and youth bands and had let it slide for many years, partly due to circumstances and partly due to shyness; I’ve spent years living in close quarters with other people in different countries and cultures and felt embarrassed to be heard singing around the place! I regretted not having used my voice for so long, when singing had brought me so much enjoyment in the past.  My husband and I got ‘stuck’ here in England during the first Covid lockdown, having only come back temporarily to renew our visas for Thailand where we were working with a Relief and Development Charity called HANDS. I found that I really love being back here in my home culture and especially here in Ludlow with family and friends. We had no idea when we’d be able to go back to our life in Thailand.  My sister-in-law, Niki, had been in Bella for many years and invited me along. It was a bit of a watershed moment for me; the first thing that I decided to commit to in the midst of living in limbo, and despite the paralysing uncertainty of my future circumstances. I felt like I was making a really big decision. It was a good one!

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I love that I am part of something that is communal; doing something fun and serious and stretching too, with a bunch of great people from so many different walks of life; each of us playing a part and encouraging each other. The sound we can make when we sing together is extraordinary and I love that; it’s more than just a fact, or even a skill; it’s an ethos

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Hmm. I really can’t narrow it down much; my taste is so eclectic – which fits with the eclectic mix of songs we do in Bella! But I do like a whole range; Rock, Pop, Soul, R&B, Motown, Alternative/Indie, Blue-grass, some Jazz, some Classical, even some Metal; anything with a good beat and a good melody but often it’s more about the heart of the music and it’s ‘sound-story’ than the genre

Who is your favourite singer?

No real favourites, but I love a good soulful voice like Nora Jones, Tracy Chapman, Seal, Brian Adams, or the purity of Enya or Sinead O’Connor; but also appreciate the range and ability of Whitney Houston and Maria Carey...oh so many..!

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Right now, I am investing my time into making art, which is what I originally trained in. The bedroom in our little terrace house doubles as a studio, and I’ve begun selling my work at Ludlow market, exhibiting locally and running workshops. We haven’t yet worked out when, how and if we go back to Thailand and we are still involved with Hands Charity, but in the meantime...or possibly in the long-term...I’m loving being here!

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Oh, a lot of moments; I love singing around Ludlow town at all the different venues and also Eisteddford was really fun; but it was very special when we performed a Christmas song composed by my Dad and Mum last Christmas. My Mum died the month before we performed it and my Dad was in the audience, so that was pretty poignant. All the Bellas were so supportive

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

So far, it has to be ‘One Day Like This’ by Elbow. I hadn’t heard it before we sang it last year and I loved it from the get-go. However, I have been surprised by singing so many songs that I wouldn’t normally have listened to and enjoying them so much more when we sing them!

December 2023

Jo


What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

1 year;  I joined January 23

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I wanted to get back into singing after a long break, and a friend persuaded me to join Bella

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Bella are a wonderful, supportive group of women who made me feel at home from day one, and being able to forget the day and get lost in the music during our rehearsals is a fantastic feeling

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

It varies but normally rock/blues

Who is your favourite singer?

Currently loving Susan Tedeschi

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I spend lots of time with my two dogs and very old horse. I love to travel and ski (badly) when I can and I enjoy making curries and growing chillies

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Dodging the rainstorms at Eisteddfod and singing with a male voice choir in the beer tent!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Maybe This Time

January 2024

Julie


What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Since January 2023

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I love singing and was a member of a Choir and a Theatre Company for six years before moving to the area in 2021. I already knew a couple of Bellas – I am so grateful to Rose and Harriet for the recommendation!

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

It is an amazing community to be part of. Such a fantastic group of lovely, welcoming and incredibly talented ladies. The camaraderie is brilliant, we work hard on some complex harmonies, support each other 100% and have fun. I can honestly say I look forward to coming along every single week!

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I like to listen to a bit of everything! If I had to choose, I would say rock (especially from the 70’s), but I also love Motown, Ibiza Anthems, pop and musicals - but tomorrow I will probably be listening to something totally different!

Who is your favourite singer?

It is really hard to choose, there are so many great singers. Aretha Franklin, Elvis, Robert Plant, Grace Slick, Paul Rodgers, Minnie Ripperton, Freddie Mercury, Dusty Springfield, Sam Cooke, Stevie Nicks, PJ Harvey, Florence Welch.....

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I live near Church Stretton with my husband and work at the Secondary School. I enjoy walking in the Shropshire Hills, practise Yoga and get involved with Community events as much as possible. I am currently Secretary at our local Village Hall and am a qualified Reiki and Crystal Therapy Practitioner. I also go to as many gigs and festivals as I can

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

The Eisteddfod last year – the whole day was fabulous! Just being there amongst friends, soaking up the atmosphere, performing, watching some amazing performances and the impromptu singing in the bar and on the coach on the way home!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I enjoy everything we sing, but so far, Hallelujah, Unchained Melody and In My Life. Carol of the Bells was sounding great over the festive period - and I am so excited to see whatsongs we will sing in the coming year

January 2024


Maggy


What section do you sing in?

Bass

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

Nearly two years

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

Well, it was really to challenge myself.  Over the years I’ve sung all the well-known classical choral works with large mixed choirs; Handel’s Messiah every Christmas, Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Faure Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius ….. always Alto 2 and always with a score. Bella was different, a whole other style of music, singing acappella and from memory. I wasn’t even sure I could sing without music, but I knew I had an unusually low voice and the chance to sing bass was too good an opportunity to miss. After the first rehearsal with Amy’s inspiring leadership I was hooked.

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

Two hours of glorious music and scrunchy harmonies on a Thursday evening with a group of amazing ladies

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

Depending on my mood….. classical choral, folk, klezmer, old musicals

Who is your favourite singer?

Anyone with a stunning voice – Bryn Terfel, Andrea Bocelli, Cecilia Bartoli, Blondie, Stevie Nicks, Sandy Denny, Shirley Bassey … too many to name

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

Busy renovating our house, playing tennis and choosing house stuff helped by Bella friends

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Singing in the round chapel in Ludlow Castle at Christmas was very special

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

Mary Did You Know, Fields of Gold, Hallelujah

February2024

Angie


What section do you sing in?

Baritone

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

I joined Bella Acappella in January 2023

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I have been in choirs since school days and looked for a good one when we moved to Ludlow.  Bella Acappella was perfect for me

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I knew I would enjoy being in a choir, but the bonus is how lovely, kind, friendly, and fun all the members are

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

In the words of Bob Segar, I like that old time rock & roll

Who is your favourite singer?

Cher

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I am a software developer working part time as a contractor.  I love books and have attended various literary festivals for decades.  I’m a big fan of the Booker Prize which dominates my reading from the end of July every year. I also adore cats and have two new adoptees, Skye & Isla.  They are an absolute joy.

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Singing under shelter of the tent at Eisteddfod while the rain was lashing down around us

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

We’ve just started this one and it’s a corker – Make You Feel My Love

February2024

Fran


What section do you sing in?

Lead

How long have you been singing with Bella Acappella?

I joined in September last year, so about 5 months!

Why did you join Bella Acappella?

I found out about Bella Acappella through Google last year, but I was too nervous to join alone. Earlier last year, I asked on Facebook about women only choirs in Ludlow and a few people suggested Bella Acappella. I had sung in a choir at school and did GCSE Music but had only been singing at home by myself since then. Me and Shannon became friends through my post on Facebook and decided to join together

What does being a member of Bella mean to you?

I was very nervous to join but that quickly went away as each of these lovely, talented, and inspiring women make you feel incredibly welcome and at ease. It’s a safe space for each of us to be ourselves and I love that!

What’s your favourite genre of music to listen to?

I love pop and indie music the most, but I appreciate lots of different genres of music. My music taste is inspired by my parents as I loved going on car rides with them as a child and listening to Simon & Garfunkel, Phil Collins, and Fleetwood Mac

Who is your favourite singer?

Such a hard question! I absolutely adore Taylor Swift. I think she’s a wonderfully talented songwriter and performer. I also love the amazing Stevie Nicks, I just think she’s an incredibly talented woman

What does your life look like outside of Bella Acappella?

I was born in Birmingham but have lived in Ludlow since 2008. After studying Criminology at university, I now live with my boyfriend of 3 years, Cam. I love spending time with my family especially my 2 year old nephew, Tobias. I’m an amateur baker and when I’m not working, I love trying out new recipes for Cam, my chief taster, to try!

What’s your most memorable moment with Bella Acappella?

Definitely when I went to see Bella Acappella perform at the Brewery this summer. I knew instantly that I had to try and be a part of this incredible group or our Christmas concert as it was my first official concert as a part of Bella!

What’s your favourite song to sing with Bella Acappella?

I really enjoy singing In My Life, it’s simple but very effective. I also love the Beatles so I think I’m biased! I’m excited about our new songs for 2024 as well, but I won’t give anything away…

February2024

Make a free website with Yola