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Arts, Theatre & Music

Felixstowe Community Choir

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Felixstowe Community Choir meet throughout the year to sing songs from shows, pop and a bit of folk too, all to live music. With the multi-talented Emily Bennett on piano and conducting, the choir has, in just over two years, grown to over 100 members from Felixstowe and its surrounding villages as well as from Ipswich, Wickham Market, Martlesham, Kesgrave and the Shotley peninsula.

“When I had the idea for the choir the key was finding our own ‘Gareth Malone’”, laughed choir founder, Rachel Sloane. “Emily is perfect. A professional musician, she has encouraged us to sing some lovely arrangements of songs we know well and some that are new to us. She also immediately understood the sort of choir I was keen to join. “Open to all, especially those who think they can’t sing, pay as you go… with no auditions and no pressure, a true community choir and not a business”.

The choir sings Beach Boys and Beatles hits, songs by Divine Comedy, Adele, and songs from Les Mis and the Rocky Horror Show amongst others. They have also sung at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich, and at events in Felixstowe and Sutton Hoo, which is surprising bearing in mind it was set up as a non-performing choir. “Some people just like singing on a Monday night, while others enjoy the buzz of our occasional performances,” added Rachel. “We have given over £7000 for our chosen charities, with more cheques to be presented later in January”.

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Arts, Theatre & Music

Titanium Cover by Felixstowe Pianist, Tom Metcalf

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Tom is an extraordinary pianist who performs at The Orwell Hotel on Friday and Saturday evening, and Sunday lunchtime. He is also available for all types of functions like weddings, birthdays etc.

You can contact Tom through email at: tmetcalfmusic@gmail.com.

For now, enjoy this gorgeous cover of “Titanium” by David Guette and Sia….

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Arts, Theatre & Music

Trimley Artist Shares Her Passion for Creativity

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Angela Ashford is an incredibly talented artist based in Trimley. She has shown a great passion for helping others – here she is to tell us about the charities she’s worked with and what inspires her work…

Even though I have lived in various places around the world, I was born and brought up in Suffolk. So after all the traveling settled once again in the county I call home, and consider myself a Suffolk girl at heart. 

I am mainly a self-taught artist as I never had the luxury of going to university to study art, due to being profoundly dyslexic. This I did not find out until later in life as it was not recognised in the 1960s & 70s as it is today.  I am now retired from the NHS where I had worked for the last 10 years and live in Trimley St Mary.  It is here and now that I can concentrate fully on art. 

I have a heart for sharing my knowledge with others, I am not talking about teaching… I will leave that to those who are professionally trained. But to come along side people and small groups to encourage them to express themselves creatively in art and crafts of various sorts. 

Last year I started working with “Insideout,” an Ipswich based charity as one of their artists.

“The charity believes in the power of the creative process to strengthen the spirit.”

It works with people of all ages who live with mental health issues in their lives. Insideout not only offers art and crafts but singing and creative writing as well, different ways in which people are encouraged to express themselves in. 

Another small charity I’ve started working with doing much the same as with Insideout and that is “Beam” in Ipswich….  Beam supports mothers whose children have bean adopted and put into care or live elsewhere.  It gives them a place they can meet up share and with one another, where there is no judgement, just loving support. 

Last autunm my local primary school in Trimley St Mary. They were requiring the help of someone who could help design a large mural for the reception class outside play area, I decided to volunteer. I designed the mural, and together with parents and children, we painted what resembled a giant paint by numbers with all ages joining in to paint the mural. It was such a fun day. 

And lastly, I was so delighted last year to be sponsored by Fred Olson to paint an Elmer for the “Elmer’s Big Parade Ipswich,” He was called “Elmer’s Travel Trunk,” and raised £4,400 towards the St Elizabeth Hospice, which is dear to my heart. 

In my own work, I normally work in various genres from Portraiture and Prophetic art, (paintings based on biblical truths,) to more recently collages with sea glass and drift wood, as I love beach-combing and try to find ways to show the beauty in what I find on the beach. 

My website is www.theashfordstudio.co.uk  and I have recently set up a shop on Etsy called LoveBeachCombing, Please  visit these sites to see more of my work. 

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Arts, Theatre & Music

Strawberry Full Moon

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Last night we had a stunning full moon. Here are some photos captured by some talented local photographers from the Felixstowe Photographers group.

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