Chapel-en-le-Frith Ladies Choir member celebrates 30 years of singing with friends
A member of Chapel Ladies Choir has reflected on the friendships she has made after celebrating three decades of singing with the group.
Jose Dowell joined Chapel Ladies Choir 30 years ago in 1991 having always loved singing as a little girl.
The 88-year-old from Stoneyland Drive in New Mills said: “I really love singing and feel like I belong when I sing and it makes me so happy.”
Over the years the choir’s direction has changed with new conductors and Jose says the singing she does now is more complex than it was in the early 1990s.
She said: “The songs themselves are more complicated with different ranges and we now sing some songs in different languages too which has been a bit a change from what we were used to but it’s important to keep pushing yourself.”
A few years ago Jose lost her confidence in singing and was ready to pack it in but was convinced to stay.
She said: “I was a soprano but I was struggling to reach the high notes and couldn’t do it anymore as the top notes do go as you get older and I thought that was it.
"I wasn’t singing well and I wasn’t enjoying it but then I got moved down to seconds and it was like a new lease of life for me again."
Jose, short for Josephine, is not the longest serving member of the choir as one of her fellow singers has been there since 1974 but she is one of the ones with the most years under her belt.
Her musical journey has led her to perform at Chatsworth House and Liverpool Cathedral and she says she has always enjoyed the away weekends in Wales.
Jose prides herself on never missing a practice, unless for health reasons, and during the last year when she cared for her dying husband, Victor.
She added: “I have been so supported by all my friends during the last couple of months who have kept checking on me to make sure I’m doing okay.
"We haven’t really seen everyone because of Covid so I’m really looking forward to getting back to face to face rehearsals and to start singing in concerts again.”