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About Us

Some of our original members have been singing with Songbirds for over 20 years! The choir performed under many different names in the beginning, so you might have seen us perform "way back when". Here's a short piece of history for you...

Songbirds originated at an Adult Education Class in Singing in 2000. When the class finished, the conductor and ladies involved decided to form a choir to continue to enjoy themselves through singing. The choir continued under the name of Voices, run by James Lelean. In 2003, the choir split, but was soon reformed as Songbirds, rehearsing at Greenfields Church in Tilgate (Crawley, West Sussex).

In October 2005, the choir was handed over to a new conductor, Joanna Eames, and in 2008, Songbirds changed rehearsal day and so moved to St Mary's Church in Southgate (Crawley, West Sussex).  There are currently around 35 singers 'on the books', which has grown from 8 in 2008!

Songbirds have performed in a wide range of venues locally and further afield, including The Hawth in Crawley, Dorking Halls, The Assembly Hall in Worthing, The Woodville Theatre in Gravesend, The Scoop in London and various venues on the Isle of Wight, where we have held a few summer ‘tours’.  We have also performed in a large number of smaller venues locally, such as Ifield Barn Theatre, Gatwick Airport, County Mall, Horsham Bandstand, Pizza Express, and various Crawley churches and local nursing homes. Our furthest performance to date was when we hosted an exchange with a French choir and travelled to Abbeville, France to sing with them - a fantastic experience. 

We have organised two large community concerts at The Hawth, performing Zimbe! with other local choirs and the composer, Alexander L’Estrange in 2013, and repeating this with L'Estrange's Ahoy! Sing For The Mary Rose in 2015.  Also in 2015, we were invited to be Russell Watson's 'backing choir' when his tour, Up Close and Personal, came to The Hawth, which involved learning new styles of music, as well as singing in French and Italian!  We enjoyed singing in a flash mob at Horsham Bandstand in 2017 - another first for us.

Like many choirs, we struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 but tried to "keep calm and carry on", rehearsing on Zoom, outside and in small groups of six until we were allowed to meet together again in September 2021.

More than anything, the choir likes to perform for a good cause. We have often performed at charities such as The Disabilities Trust, Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, St Catherine's Hospice.  Annually, we choose three charities to support with fundraising and ask for donations at our performances to raise money for these.  We usually raise around £1500-1800 every year for our three causes.  Please see our charity pages for more information on this area.