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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chorister harmonises her pregnancy with eisteddfod date


* Vicky Wilson who sings with The Chanterelles choir
with daughter Daisy, 2, and fellow choir members
Bethany de Vries, left, and Suzanne Bottrill.

A SINGER from Market Harborough organised the timing of her pregnancy to make sure she could compete with her choir at this summer’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
Alto Vicky Wilson was so determined not to miss out on competing with Leicestershire-based The Chanterelles in the female choirs section of the iconic cultural festival that she and her husband carefully worked out when they should conceive the baby.
And although 34-year-old Vicky will be have a sizeable eight-month bump at the time she takes to the Eisteddfod stage on Saturday, July 11, she says that shouldn’t affect her performance – because this will be the second time she’s done it!
Vicky, whose day job is working for Leicestershire County Council teaching Braille to blind children across the county, lives with her 36-year-old husband Jon at a farm just outside Market Harborough, and she began singing when she was just seven years old with a local youth choir.
Amongst its performance highlights was winning a number of trophies at Llangollen Eisteddfod back in the 1990s.
The all-girls choir, founded through Leicestershire Arts in Education, made their final appearance in 2001 after a decade of performing but a number of members came together again later to form The Chanterelles.
After a number of successful years The Chanterelles eventually disbanded but then reformed in 2009 as the result of a message that went out over social media, once again under their highly respected musical director, Dr Shirley Court, who had originally led the youth choir.
With an enthusiastic group of around 30 members The Chanterelles perform in a range of concerts and competitions and aim to set the highest professional standards.
The choir’s Llangollen Eisteddfod debut was in 2010 when it sang its way to first place in the female choirs section and in 2012 it returned to take second place in the same competition.
Vicky was part of the Leicestershire youth choir for one of its successful Llangollen appearances while she was still at school and returned to compete with The Chanterelles in 2012.
She said: “I happened to be expecting my first child, Daisy, at the time of that appearance three years ago and, coincidentally, was also eight months pregnant - just as I will be again when the choir comes back to Llangollen this July.
“I knew The Chanterelles were due to compete at the eisteddfod this summer and I desperately wanted to be with them as I love coming to Llangollen.
“My husband Jon and I had been planning a second baby and we worked things out for when it would be best for me to become pregnant, if I can put it that way!
“The choir has got two important dates coming up this summer – the Cork International Choral Festival in May and then Llangollen in July.
“We thought it was best for me not to give birth between the two appearances as far as looking after a new baby is concerned, so we arranged for my nine months to finish sometime after the eisteddfod.
“We got lucky first time with our planning. I found out I was pregnant just before Christmas and I’m due to give birth in August, which should be comfortably after the Llangollen appearance.”
Gethin Davies, Chairman of the Eisteddfod, said: “Singing at Llangollen clearly means a lot to Vicky and we’re delighted she enjoys it so much.
“It will be wonderful to see her and The Chanterelles here again this summer as they are a top class choir and I’m sure the singing will be proving good for her in her pregnancy.”
Vicky added: “I don’t think it will be too much of a problem being heavily pregnant at the eisteddfod as singing is good exercise and I’ve done it once before with my daughter Daisy, who is now two and a half.
“She really loves music and I’m not surprised as she was coming with me to rehearsals and performances, like the 2012 appearance, even before she was born.
“Daisy responds to any choral music she hears on TV but also likes more popular styles. She seems particularly fond at the moment of All About the Bass by the American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor and Happy by Pharrel Williams.   
“The Chanterelles tries to compete quite regularly as it helps keep up our standards.
“Coming to Llangollen is a lovely experience because the level of competition is so high and this will be the third time I’ve been there – twice heavily pregnant.”

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