I recently met Brooke Peverell, the director and brains behind the weekly choirs in Oakham & Stamford called SINGS! Brooke is a talented singer, pianist, and teacher with a passion for business and being her own boss. She has combined all of her interests and passions into her Choir groups, SINGS!
As soon as I met Brooke I could see how enthusiastic she was about what she does. She's young, confident and rather inspiring! For someone of her age, you expect them to be timid in the world of business and especially when working with women her senior. But Brooke is definitely the boss, you can tell she loves what she does and the women around her seem to absorb her passion for singing and her positivity.
There is such a variety of members in each of the choirs and I just loved how many different ages of women attend, they all work together and have so much fun singing all kinds of songs like; Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Africa by Toto, Amazing Grace and even Disney too!
Brooke arranges events and choir visits too. The Stamford SINGS! Choir recently visited Priory Court Care Home and performed some of their recent ensembles. Brooke also organises other events such as 'SINGS! in the Summer' as a one-off summer session for everyone.
We interviewed Brooke about the 'SINGS! Choirs' so we could learn a little more about the choir and how you can go about attending your FREE taster session and join in for yourself.
Take a read...
1. Thank you so much for inviting me down to two of your SINGS Choirs. It was lovely to see such an enthusiastic bunch of women, varied in age singing together so wonderfully. Please tell me how SINGS’s started and the story behind the business?
I had been thinking for a while as to how I could build up my music career further, as I was desperate to stop teaching in schools and needed a plan to help me get out. I had been drafting out plans to start a local singing group when I was approached by some women who wanted to start singing together in a relaxed environment. I am highly ambitious and had made plans for expanding nationally before I’d even started Stamford! One year on, I’m proud to say we now operate in four different locations across Rutland and South Lincs.
2. I’ve always said if I had one wish from a genie it would be to be able to sing!
How long have you been singing?
I have been singing since I was a little girl. My upbringing in the Salvation Army meant that I was singing solos at four, and singing was a huge part of my childhood. Growing up in the Army meant being surrounded by exceptional musicians and choir leaders. My family are all very musical (given their upbringing in the SA also), and so naturally it was passed onto me. I’m grateful to have been able to grow up with such amazing musicians and singers - it’s part of the drive I have to take all my choirs forward and get the women singing as well as they possibly can.
3. You’re only 20 years old, made you want to start a business at such a young age and why a choir? What does it mean to you to own a business in Rutland?
I always knew I didn’t want to go to university. I knew people who had been and who were in £40,000+ worth of debt, who had left and couldn’t find jobs or were working jobs that didn’t need a degree. It seemed completely pointless to me. After working as a waitress, and then as a peripatetic teaching piano in schools, I also discovered I didn’t really like having a boss and being told what to do (though I am grateful for both of those jobs and the things that I learned there). Anyone who knows me knows I am incredibly driven and ambitious, and having my own business seemed to be the only way I could achieve the level of success that I want for my life.
Having a business in Rutland is great, but also hard. Everyone knows everyone and if you didn’t grow up in the same circles as them, you have to work extra hard to break through. This doesn’t bother me; it just gives me more drive to keep pushing my business forward. The good thing about having a business in Rutland is the same thing - everyone knows everyone! Word travels fast and there’s a real community spirit. Small businesses are appreciated more because we don’t have the big high street chains.
4. If someone wanted to join the choir, they might have a few questions like; Is it a women’s only choir? Or, do I have to be able to sing confidently? Can I join and learn to sing?
One of the negatives of growing up in the Salvation Army was that on a national level there was a real music clique. If your parents weren’t top star soloists, or if you couldn’t sing the highest note in the choir, there was a sense that no one was really interested in you. When I started working for myself as a musician (playing the piano in hotels, visiting care homes etc), I found out just how much music can impact people’s lives, whether they are top soloists or not. It is the only thing that can touch everyone. Because of this, we don’t audition anyone to come and join the choirs, you don’t need to be a confident singer or music reader, and we certainly don’t make anyone sing a solo. You can simply turn up whenever you want for your free taster session! 'Oakham and Stamford Sings!' are both women-only choirs. This is just because of the types of arrangements we use.
5. I loved listening to the choir, you prepare a variety of different types of music.
What can new members expect to sing?
I put a real emphasis on singing all types of music – pop, gospel, traditional, musical theatre, Disney and much more! Because we have such a range of women in our choirs, it’s important to me to try and do something for everyone. Each member is given a labelled black folder with their music in, as well as personalised name tags. We always do a warm-up at choir sessions – I make sure these are short and sweet. No-one wants to spend 30minutes singing through scales!
6. If our readers are interested in joining the choir, how do they apply and when/where?
Anyone who is interested in joining the choir is welcome to turn up to one of our sessions. Our Oakham sessions are each Monday evening at Braunston Village Hall (6.45-8pm). Our Stamford sessions are each Wednesday evening at Essendine Village Hall (6.45-8pm).
You don’t need to pre-book, but I understand most people want to have a chat to me personally before arriving – that is fine! Everyone gets a free taster session before they make the decision as to whether they want to join the choir properly.
7. Thank you so much for sharing SINGS with our readers of the blog, I look forward to hearing about the next term! Finally, what can we expect from the future of SINGS?
We are currently busy preparing for a very exciting couple of years ahead – we hope to expand into other parts of the country, to bring the joy of singing to women everywhere.
If you'd like to join SINGS! Choirs, Brooke runs groups in Oakham, Stamford, Bourne, and Spalding that operate on a term basis and your first taster session is FREE! The next term starts in September and it's open to everyone who loves to sing!
Contact Brooke Peverell:
T: 07772 055935
[Please note this blog post contains sponsored content]