13th Dec, 2017

Redditch singer Jean’s still on form at the age of 90

Imogen Buller 19th Mar, 2017 Updated: 20th Mar, 2017

ON SONG Bel Canto singer Jean Garvey is still hitting top note – at the grand age of 90.

Jean joined the group more than 20 years ago as ‘a bit of a social’ after giving up dancing and is now a dearly loved mainstay of the choir.

In fact she often finds herself serenading people younger than herself when Bel Canto go along to entertain old folks in residential homes in Redditch and further afield.

“I enjoy it – it’s just me,” said Jean.

“I used to be a dancer but when I couldn’t any more I took up singing and I’ve just grown-up with it.”

In fact Jean and her husband Jack, now sadly deceased, used to compete in ballroom and sequence dancing both in the UK and on the Continent, at one stage becoming Midlands champions. They then went on to become professional dance teachers.

She credits John Clark, the choir’s musical director, as the driving force behind Bel Canto growing reputation which not only delivers a fantastic evening of song but stays within their ‘Singing for Pleasure’ mantra.

“He is such a good teacher – in the early days it started to be a social evening but the choir has just got better and better.”

And despite the passing of the years Jean confesses she feels no different from when she first joined.

“I don’t feel 90 at all, and I don’t seem to have problems remembering the songs. I think if I did they would probably throw me out – but in a nice way!”

Bel Canto’s next main concert is on Saturday, May 20 at Cookhill village hall and Jean, who intends to keep singing until she’s 100, is sure to be there.

The choir has a lively repertoire, covering pieces of choral, pop, ballad, musicals and comedy styles and rehearses every Monday evening at Crabbs Cross Methodist Church – all welcome.

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