William Bailey

I first started singing in my school choir back in the early 1950s when I was 10 years old. I was a young treble and under our musical director, Kendrick Partington, I took part in the schools first outside broadcast of sung evensong. We recorded it very early one sunday evening and it was broadcast near midnight. Being part of that broadcast was very exciting because although tv had arrived and most of the nation had found a set to huddle around for the queens coronation in 1953,most families still could not afford a set!

Many years passed during which I played a lot of rugby, went sea canoeing, climbed and went mountaineering, became a soldier, went to college, earned a living and brought up my family, but no singing in a choir, just on the team bus back from games. It was not until I had retired that I even thought about singing again mores the pity but I then saw a small advert in the local paper and the contact name was a chap I had played rugby with in the early 1970s. I went to meet him and after a very brief test, more to see if I could make a noise, I joined a male voice choir as a baritone. For the next 10 years or so I enjoyed my time with them practise on a Monday concert on a Friday more often than not this taking place in a freezing church hall where long johns were the order of the day!

I was given a singing lesson with Alan Johnson as a Christmas present. I did not know him at all at this time but he showed me that I could get a lot more out of my voice and I became hungry to take advantage of this opportunity to train it and to sing more challenging music this coincided with my decision to leave the male voice choir. We travelled a lot and amongst other reasons the price of fuel was becoming prohibitive. It was nevertheless some time before I joined the Alan Johnson Singers I was enjoying my singing lessons and seeing what was happening to my voice development and confidence.

I eventually joined the Alan Johnson Singers which is the first time I have ever had the opportunity of singing in a mixed choir and what a friendly bunch I have found them to be it is all very relaxed and I feel I have made a lot of new friends with a common interest. We practice weekly learning music from operas to the more popular shows. We sing in concerts and give other people enjoyment whilst thoroughly enjoying ourselves what more could a body want.