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Turning £5 into a phenomenon!

Created on 13/07/2011 @ 13:50


What would you do if someone gave you the challenge of turning a fiver into a major fundraising venture?
Apart from buy five scratch cards and hope for the best, there seems very little that could be done but one woman grasped the challenge with both hands to launch an adventure which has taken her to some Britain’s finest concert venues.
Suzanne Edwards was challenged by her local church – St. Cynon’s  in Tregynon -  when she and other parishioners were given the £5 and told to increase its charitable value. Little could she have known then what it would have lead to 10 years later!
“The scheme was based on the Biblical story of the Talents, and I thought one of talents could be loosely defined as ‘knowing lots of very good singers’ (having been involved in choral singing and conducting in Montgomeryshire for many years),” said Suzanne.
“So, a few phone calls later – I had a choir! There were 13 singers, myself and my friend and colleague Tim Mills – making 15 of us. We needed a name, and Quindici was suggested – translated as the number 15 in Italian. What started out as a one off performance of a concert became a permanent fixture and here we are 10 years later, still singing, having fun and working hard!
“The choir has changed a lot in the last 10 years – people come and go, the choir grows then shrinks – but we have never stopped enjoying the fabulous music we sing. Some of it is challenging for both the singers and some people say the audience!  Some of the original members, who are all friends of myself and Tim, still come to sing with us, some from as far away as Cambridge, Worcester and Gloucester.”
Performances followed in St. Asaph Cathedral and Shrewsbury Abbey before the choir’s reputation became national with a rousing performance in the Millennium Centre in Cardiff.
But Suzanne, who is the choir’s Director of Music, believes their best performance was a little closer to home in Llanidloes last year while a more sombre occasion saw them also at their best when they said farewell to a fellow member.
She recalled: “The tragic loss of one of our singers a couple of years ago really shook us all. But I can honestly say I have never been more proud to stand in front of any choir as I did on the day of his funeral and watch the professionalism of singers who were prepared to put their own emotions to one side to perform as a tribute to one of their own - a Quindici singer. Both Tim and I consider ourselves very fortunate to lead such a group of people.”
Future plans include a CD to be recorded in September from St Michael’s in Tenbury Wells as well as performances booked up into 2012 with a possible tour of Belgium thrown in for good measure!
Quindici perform in Meifod at 5pm on July 17, singing Choral Evensong for the Church’s Flower Festival. For more information, contact Suzanne on or 07970 955718.
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