Main Image: Organiser Sue St. Joseph with the Dumfries Youth Choir at rehearsals in the church hall at St John’s (Note: Children’s names not given, in accordance with church child protection guidelines)

The Dumfries Youth Choir began three years ago and initially attracted two dozen schoolchildren, split equally between primary and secondary pupils from across the region.

But the numbers have been dwindling recently, leaving those that run the choir frustrated and fearing for its future unless more youngsters turn up.

One of the organisers, music supply teacher Sue St. Joseph, said: “We’ve only got nine members of the choir left, all girls. They are great kids, very loyal, but we need more young people willing to take part.

“If the numbers continue to dwindle or stay as they are, the choir could fold.

“That would be a shame because those of us involved know the value of choirs and music, how much our musical skills improve, the opportunities for broadening our horizons and the wonderful friends that can be made through taking part.

Untitled-4The choir currently meets on Wednesdays at St John’s Church hall on Newall Terrace.

In a new effort to boost interest, Sue said the hall will open at 3.30pm for a drop-in session before practice starts at 5.45pm.

“This time will be whatever the young people want from it, ‘said Sue. ‘There will be something to eat and drink; a quiet space will be available if you want to work. There will be music, the chance to chat, and friendship.”

The choir sings a variety of songs and styles, but Sue said the real emphasis was having fun.

She said: “What we sing and what we do is agreed between those running the group and those who take part. We are a fun, friendly group and we really hope more people will join us.”

Although made up of current and former secondary pupils, Sue said any young person from S1 upwards to aged 24 would be welcome. There is no charge for membership, no need to be able to read music and no audition.

While the ability to sing in tune would be an advantage, Sue said the enjoyment of singing and the commitment to take part on a regular basis were the only real requirements.

Currently, the choir has plans to sing at two public concerts, both at St John’s, at the end of May and the other in December possibly as part of an Advent Service, or in a concert of its own.

If there was a need, transport could be provided to get the singers into practice each week.

Anyone interested is asked to contact Sue, at [email protected], or mobile 07732 721880.

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