Episode 2 The Choir


Episode 2

Choirmaster Gareth Malone has formed a choir of military wives at RMB Chivenor in Devon. In nearby Plymouth, he is overwhelmed by eager new recruits and plans a joint performance.


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Transcript


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Choirmaster Gareth Malone believes

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that singing can change the toughest of lives.

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I know that music can bring people together

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under really extraordinary circumstances.

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He's come to a base in Devon to form a choir of military wives

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while their husbands are away fighting in Afghanistan.

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Words can't explain how much I just want him to come home.

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This is real, it's not Action Man. This is a real stuff.

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It's testing what a choir is for and testing it to the limit.

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In just six weeks, he's had them singing to the local town.

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Now, Gareth wants to expand his choir.

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Wow, it's a good turnout.

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-I've been in a couple of rock bands.

-Rock bands.

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-Were you happy?

-I'm feeling a little bit deflated.

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I just ballsed it up.

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And to take them to the heart of the military establishment.

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I want to run away, I just want to run away.

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This is like no other gig I've ever done.

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Gig is a wrong word, this is a ceremony.

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May I say that you are the most beautiful choir in the UK

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at this time.

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They needed a voice and this is about giving them that voice

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right now in front of these guys.

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It's April and Gareth's military wives choir is now six weeks old.

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The women's husbands have been away for nearly two months.

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Gareth's arranged for his choir

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to come to a theatre in Ilfracombe in Devon,

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to record a song to be played to the troops on British Forces Radio.

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Get yourself in there.

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'This is a chance for them to sing to their men in Afghanistan.'

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They're very excited, they want to do it

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but when we get into those songs

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and they know it's going to be heard in Afghanistan,

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it's quite a powerful thing.

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It'll be the first time many of the husbands

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will have heard their wives sing.

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I think all of us are choking up and trying to hold back the tears.

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When you know your husband is going to be listening,

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hopefully all the husbands are proud of us

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and what we've achieved in such a short space of time.

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My son was deployed to Afghanistan last night

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and I'm a bit of an emotional wreck.

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It's good to have all the girls and keep each other going.

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You're sending a message of support and sending it through that.

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It has to show in your faces.

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If it shows in your faces, it'll show in the sound.

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Wear your heart on your sleeves, you're not used to that.

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Think of it as catharsis,

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this is about letting it all out in this next take.

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# When the evening shadows and the stars appear

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# And there's no-one there to dry your tears

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# I can hold you for a million years

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# to make you feel my love

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# To make you feel my love. #

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Good, well done, that's the one.

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Some found it difficult and emotional, standing there knowing

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they were singing to their husbands at this time.

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Very, very, very emotional.

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I wish we could see the lads' reactions

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because they'll find it amazing.

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For me, singing with the girls is singing for all wives.

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It's not just about us,

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it's about all wives who've been through this,

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who're going through this and who will go through this. It's really emotional.

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I think this is having exactly the right effect.

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The women are singing really well, they're being brought together

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which is what counts.

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This is something that could easily spread to other bases.

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It's gone so well here in a really short space of time

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and the women are singing well and getting so much out of it.

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I'd like this to go further, I want to go to other bases.

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Gareth's had an invitation to take his choir

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to a nearby military base at Plymouth.

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But before he arrives, news comes through from Afghanistan.

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Colleagues of a Royal Marine based in Plymouth have paid tribute to him

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after he was killed in southern Afghanistan.

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A Plymouth-based Royal Marine has been killed.

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The Marine from 42 Commando...

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A Marine based in Plymouth has been killed by a bomb in Afghanistan.

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For choir member Suzy,

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the recent deaths from Plymouth have hit close to home.

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Her 21-year-old son, Ross, has recently deployed

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and serves with the same unit.

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I hate the thought of my lad seeing something like that.

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My heart breaks for them. My heart breaks for the families.

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You wake up thinking of them, go to bed thinking of them.

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As a mother you want to protect your children

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and the thought of your child going to war

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and putting his life potentially on the line,

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is something you have no control over.

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I've gradually become more and more emotional over each tour.

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You hate the thought of something happening to a loved one.

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I think that's what makes it so hard.

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Gareth's got to decide if it's still the right time to go to Plymouth.

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He calls a meeting with the Chivenor choir.

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It's not a position I've been in before, it's new territory for me.

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I'd love to go to Plymouth, it's an accident of timing that everything happened this weekend.

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The music can't solve the problem, but I kind of have a hunch that it might be something beneficial.

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I want to know what you think about it really. Suzy?

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They need all the support they can get.

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They need something to focus on.

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I'd be lost without it, this is my distraction,

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it keeps me going in a way and they're having a pretty rough time.

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I can't describe to you how hard it is on a personal level.

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It's heartbreaking.

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The potential for upsetting people who're already incredibly upset,

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going into a very sensitive situation

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with something as crass as singing in a choir,

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it's testing what a choir is for

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and testing it to the limit.

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Hello, ladies. Ready?

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-Yeah.

-Let's go.

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Despite some reservations,

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Gareth decides to go to Plymouth.

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He takes a small group from his Chivenor choir,

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to encourage new members to join.

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# Ee ay ah, ee ay ah... #

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I love how you're suddenly doing a posh phase.

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Ladies, ladies of the Chivenor choir,

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we're going to a place just outside Plymouth

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which is where a lot of the women live.

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We're going to go and flyer all their houses

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and try and drum up some support for this evening.

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Plymouth is the biggest military city in the South West.

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Nearly 2,000 military families are based here.

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Here we go. OK, ladies, make this happen.

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It's home to the wives and loved ones

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of some 1,300 soldiers and Marines,

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most of whom are currently serving on the front line in Afghanistan.

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It's about letting your hair down, doing something you've not done before.

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My husband has been out 11 weeks and I've been stressing out,

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the kids are stressed out and it's no good for anybody.

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You need something for you. What you need is a choir.

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Like Sister Act?

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It's Sister Act.

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Thank you very much, see you later on.

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Mechelle, the wife of a Marine, is the kind of woman Gareth hopes

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will turn up to tonight's singing session.

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I've got a cat's voice, I'm terrible.

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I'll go along, being there the first night could be really good fun.

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Mechelle's husband, Phil, is part of 42 Commando Royal Marines

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which has suffered several fatalities in the last month.

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He's down by the Kandahar section.

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He's down there at the moment

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so I'm hoping they haven't seen much action,

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I'm hoping they haven't, but J Company,

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they've been very busy, shall we say.

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There is massive injuries already,

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quite a few fatalities which is horrific, absolutely horrific.

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This is real, it's not Action Man here, it's real stuff.

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At the end of the day, somebody on every single tour so far

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has got killed.

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Perched on the edge of Plymouth Hoe is the Royal Citadel.

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The 17th century building is now an Army base

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for 350 Royal Artillery soldiers.

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It'll also be home for Gareth's choir.

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He's arranged for potential new members to meet in the sergeants' mess

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for this evening's impromptu singing session.

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Great, this is where we're rehearsing, come on over.

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I think they're going to be here soon,

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so what will be fantastic is if we can sing to them first.

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I think it'll be really good and it'll inspire them.

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They'll be much more nervous than you are.

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Now that we're here in Plymouth, I'm really, really nervous.

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There's only a small number of us.

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Singing in such a little number, we haven't done that before.

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I'm just really hoping we sound good.

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Hello, come on in.

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-Hello.

-What's your name?

-Heather.

-Any singing experience?

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-Yeah, I was in the school choir.

-School choir.

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Husband?

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-Marine.

-Marine.

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-And what does your husband do?

-Royal Marines.

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Hi, Laura.

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Good turnout. Hi.

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-Been in a couple of rock bands.

-Rock bands.

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I love it. I think you're our first rock singer.

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-What does your husband do?

-He's a submariner.

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Submariner. Go on through.

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Of course, yeah.

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Ladies, it's really good to see so many of you here tonight.

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We're all very aware that we've come at a sensitive time, so we wanted to acknowledge that.

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We've come with some fun

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and just to share our singing with you,

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hopefully inspire you and give you something to focus on during what I know is a very difficult time.

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-Suzy, please.

-Hi, I'm Suzy.

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I moved to Chivenor about seven months ago.

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I knew nobody, then the flyers came through for the choir.

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I wasn't going to do it, originally -

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best thing I've ever done.

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I don't regret it for a minute. I'm happy,

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I'm smiling,

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which is hard to do at times like this...

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and it's getting us all through a very tough time.

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-I'm shaking!

-LAUGHTER

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Um...but, yeah,

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I highly recommend it, and just get stuck in

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and enjoy it for everything it is, because it's fabulous.

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APPLAUSE

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PIANO STARTS UP

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# I don't know what it is that makes me love you so

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# I only know I never want to let you go

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# Cos you started something, Can't you see

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# That ever since we met You've got a hold on me

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# It happens to be true I only want to be with you. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Very good. Now it's YOUR turn! Just sing it slightly slowly, the tune at the beginning,

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all together now - one, two, three, four -

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# I don't know what it is that makes me love you so

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# I only know I never want to let you go... #

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Stop.

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At this point, things get more complicated -

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# Cos you started something, Can't you see... #

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-Sing that for me - three, four!

-ALL: # Cos you started something

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# Oh, can't you see... #

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Two, three, and...

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# You stopped and smiled at me

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# Asked me if I'd care to dance

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Lighter - # You stopped and smiled... #

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More innocent, it's a bit... HE SINGS WITH AGGRESSIVE TONE

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# You b... !

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# You left me... then you went to Afghanistan! #

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Very innocent, OK?

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One, two, three, four...

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# I don't know what it is that makes me love you so

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# I only know I never want to let you go

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# Cos you started something Oh can't you see

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# That ever since we met you've had a hold on me

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# It happens to be true I only want to be with you. #

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Round of applause. Really well done.

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It feels to me that singing is such a necessary thing.

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I've just had a daughter, and we sing with her all the time,

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and she absolutely lights up, not just cos she's a genius,

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but because...

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because she loves singing and it's such a human thing to do.

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That was extremely good for a first start,

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so we'll have to notch up the difficulty level a few steps for next time.

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Class dismissed, thank you.

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APPLAUSE

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I was able to forget the complications in my life

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and just have a good night,

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and I feel I'm doing something for myself.

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A bit nervy, but I've got to say,

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for a bunch of Royal Marines' wives,

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we did quite well, but then we would do, wouldn't we(?)

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I am actually quite scared about how good they are.

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They are actually really amazing,

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and that's a bit intimidating.

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Brilliant. That was absolutely brilliant,

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really exciting. It felt like something was really happening.

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I was really worried about coming here and singing with them,

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I didn't want to stir up emotions at this really difficult time.

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Those women, especially, whose husbands are in action at the moment, and are suffering fatalities,

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I really feel for them.

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It's lovely to be able to do something like that, that just takes them out of it for ten minutes,

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makes them think about something else.

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Back at Chivenor, Gareth catches up with some of the choir after their trip to Plymouth.

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Hello.

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Hi, how are you?

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I'm glad we went to Plymouth, it was really good. Were you happy?

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We do all feel a little bit deflated.

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When we all did the mixture of singing,

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I felt...

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I sat down.

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-Really?

-Yeah, I just sat down and I just thought,

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"Actually, they just sound so good,

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"and we're just being completely drowned out."

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If they are so good already, after one rehearsal,

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and there's about 80 of them - there's only a few of us!

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I didn't expect to stand there and think, "Oh, my God,

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"they're so much further on than we are."

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Your singing sounds great, and it's going to sound better and better.

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It feels like the best thing to do is to expand it and give the opportunity to other women,

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and that's to take nothing away from you.

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I don't want to sound like any one of us begrudges them anything,

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because the more places across the country you could do this,

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-the better for everyone.

-Because we have come so much closer...

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I would rather not be there on Thursday at all

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because I think I would feel like I want to sing,

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whereas now, I just feel like I want to get in my bed!

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Yeah, well, I will work very hard to make sure you don't continue to feel like that.

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It's the opposite of what I was hoping.

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'It's not about being the best singer,

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'about singing better than others,

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'it's about using your voice to do something,

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'to mean something to you and to other people.'

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That's what was powerful about those women singing the other day,

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it was them showing who they are through song.

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I thought that was brilliant, I thought they were great.

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I just ballsed it up, I think.

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For Hayley, family life on the Chivenor base has never been tougher.

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Husband Adrian, a staff sergeant,

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is still only just over halfway through his tour of duty in Afghanistan.

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My middle son, Bill,

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he's such a daddy's boy, and he's four

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and he REALLY struggles. He cries for Daddy

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every single day, which is heartbreaking,

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but it takes a while and you get on with it...

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It's part of our life.

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If I let my guard down and let the emotion come out,

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I would be crying the whole day.

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Every situation, from a flat tyre to the milk spilling,

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would result in, "It's all because my husband's not here",

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and you can't...you cannot survive for six months like that,

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so you find coping mechanisms and strategies

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and one of them is that you go, "It's fine. It's fine,

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"it'll all be fine,

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"tomorrow's another day, we've got through a day",

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and that's why 99% of the girls you speak to count sleeps,

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because one sleep down is one closer.

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Gareth needs to find a way to pull his new expanded choir together.

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In Plymouth, he thinks he's found the answer.

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-Good afternoon, Gareth.

-Are you Charles?

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I am, indeed. Welcome to sunny Plymouth.

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Charles Chrichton is the local events organiser.

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In the last week in June, we have a wonderful festival to celebrate our armed forces.

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Down here, we have our arena.

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We've got a mass pipe band on parade, which will excite everyone,

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we've got the cadets,

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we get ready with a great parade down here...

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Gosh, this is no small thing.

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It is marvellous on the day.

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-How might it work? 110 women... in this wind...

-Yes.

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Where might we put them?

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-All things are possible down here in Plymouth.

-Excellent.

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Don't let any other voices tell you so.

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But Armed Forces Day is only two weeks away

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and Gareth doesn't have a song that both halves of his choir can sing.

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PIANO PLAYS

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HE HUMS

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I have to come up with something that really lifts the spirits.

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Sitting and working it out, I keep imagining

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the women of Plymouth, and then, somehow, musically speaking,

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the support of the Chivenor Choir.

0:19:030:19:05

I've got a mash-up of two songs, one of which is...

0:19:050:19:08

HE SINGS # I'll be there

0:19:080:19:12

# I'll be there... #

0:19:120:19:16

Jackson Five song. The other one is a song

0:19:160:19:19

by a guy called Bruno Mars.

0:19:190:19:21

# Girl, you're amazing Just the way you are. #

0:19:210:19:26

The choruses fit together really well, the verses fit together well,

0:19:260:19:29

so you'd have one verse, then another verse of a different song,

0:19:290:19:32

one chorus, then a different chorus, then the two things come together and fit like glue.

0:19:320:19:37

What's important is that this is about these women coming together, and showing support for each other,

0:19:370:19:42

not just from one base, but from one base to another base.

0:19:420:19:46

So...yeah, I've got to find a way to get Chivenor on side with this.

0:19:460:19:50

-Morning, everyone.

-ALL: Morning.

0:19:590:20:01

-I've brought biscuits.

-ALL: Hooray!

-So come and help yourselves.

0:20:010:20:05

I wanted to talk to you about the way forward with Plymouth.

0:20:050:20:10

With that in mind, there's an event, Armed Forces Day, which seems like

0:20:100:20:15

a really perfect occasion to go down there and do something.

0:20:150:20:19

We'd have you here singing one song, and then all of those women

0:20:190:20:26

singing another song, and then the two songs would combine

0:20:260:20:29

and be somewhat stirring, hopefully with some accompaniment as well.

0:20:290:20:33

I think it could be amazingly powerful.

0:20:330:20:36

Who thinks they'd be up for it?

0:20:360:20:38

OK, that's a pretty resounding success. Fine.

0:20:380:20:42

-I think motion passed, yes?

-ALL: Yes.

0:20:420:20:45

Being the whole choir, I think, is going to be brilliant.

0:20:450:20:49

And it will be a real force of women standing together

0:20:490:20:52

and showing everyone what we're made of. It's going to be brilliant, yeah, I can't wait, really excited.

0:20:520:20:57

I think joining forces with Plymouth is really good

0:20:570:21:01

because it's a stronger choir, all of us showing our solidarity.

0:21:010:21:05

It will be a really good chance to meet the other wives. Yeah, I'm really excited.

0:21:050:21:09

Hello, hello. Hi.

0:21:170:21:20

Two weeks ago, the Plymouth half of Gareth's choir didn't even exist.

0:21:200:21:25

-Good evening.

-ALL: Good evening.

0:21:270:21:29

Now he's got less than 14 days to get them

0:21:290:21:32

ready for their first ever performance.

0:21:320:21:35

I think every choir, even when they are only two weeks old,

0:21:360:21:42

really needs to do a performance.

0:21:420:21:45

I propose that you, alongside the full ranks of

0:21:450:21:48

the Chivenor Ladies' Choir, will go and perform at Armed Forces Day.

0:21:480:21:54

CHORISTER SNEEZES

0:21:540:21:55

LAUGHTER

0:21:550:21:56

You are allergic to Armed Forces Day! Oh, dear!

0:21:560:22:01

I've done an arrangement... # Ooh-oo-ooh... #

0:22:010:22:05

Does anyone know what it is?

0:22:090:22:11

-Bruno Mars?

-Bruno Mars, right. So, have a copy of the words.

0:22:110:22:16

You're only going to need the very first bit and the chorus.

0:22:160:22:21

Chivenor then sing I'll Be There. And it'll be really exciting.

0:22:210:22:25

The first time you hear it will be on the day.

0:22:250:22:28

LAUGHTER

0:22:280:22:29

But don't worry because I'll be there going like this: "Now!"

0:22:290:22:32

LAUGHTER

0:22:320:22:34

And you just look at me.

0:22:340:22:35

-Two, three...

-# When I see your face... #

0:22:350:22:39

That's it, good.

0:22:390:22:41

Would it be ridiculous to go...

0:22:410:22:43

HE SINGS FALSETTO

0:22:430:22:47

Would it sound a bit ridiculous? Try it. One, two, three and go.

0:22:470:22:53

SINGING AND LAUGHTER

0:22:530:23:00

# She's so beautiful and I tell her every day. #

0:23:020:23:09

And there. So... Sh-sh.

0:23:090:23:11

The best thing about doing something where you don't have music

0:23:110:23:15

and it's not clear from the bits of paper, is that you don't end up

0:23:150:23:18

like this: "I love this piece of paper."

0:23:180:23:21

We don't have time for paper love, we have a performance in under two weeks.

0:23:210:23:26

This has unsettled you, I can see. It's going to be fine.

0:23:260:23:29

Take your sheets, bring them back next week. Thank you very much. You may go.

0:23:290:23:34

It was a bit nerve wracking because we don't have much time

0:23:340:23:37

to prepare, and at first we sounded quite dodgy.

0:23:370:23:41

So I hope it all comes together.

0:23:410:23:42

It's going to be scary.

0:23:420:23:45

This is the second week we've done this.

0:23:450:23:47

I'm kind of hoping that we all come together

0:23:480:23:51

and sound like we should, rather than sounding like a pack of wild dogs,

0:23:510:23:56

which is what I'm really terrified about.

0:23:560:23:59

With just three rehearsals left,

0:23:590:24:01

Gareth shuttles the 70 miles between Chivenor and Plymouth.

0:24:010:24:06

The first time they get to sing together is on the day.

0:24:060:24:09

And that's the first time that they sing with the band as well,

0:24:090:24:12

which is, although not ideal, I think it's possible.

0:24:120:24:16

But it is going to make them nervous.

0:24:160:24:19

HE SINGS FALSETTO

0:24:210:24:22

# I'll be there... #

0:24:220:24:24

LAUGHTER

0:24:240:24:26

I didn't see any knee dippers. Just try it, just humour me.

0:24:260:24:30

# I'll be there. #

0:24:300:24:32

It helps me, anyway.

0:24:320:24:34

-# I'll be there... #

-That's really good.

0:24:340:24:39

We're not climbing Everest, but it's at least Ben Nevis, you know, it's not easy.

0:24:390:24:43

Don't be embarrassed. We've got to be really... Fortitude, ladies.

0:24:460:24:50

Two, three, and...

0:24:500:24:51

# Her eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they're not shining. #

0:24:510:24:55

Bit slow, there. Can we just do the words?

0:24:550:24:57

ALL: Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying.

0:24:570:25:01

You're still slowing me down. It's a bit like playing in treacle.

0:25:010:25:04

It slightly fell to pieces tonight. I wasn't expecting that to happen.

0:25:040:25:08

I've suddenly got a bit of nerves about Saturday.

0:25:080:25:12

Having two choirs in two different locations is a stress.

0:25:120:25:18

I'm getting to know this road very well indeed.

0:25:180:25:21

-# You and I... #

-Yeah.

0:25:230:25:24

# ..must make a pact

0:25:240:25:27

# We must bring salvation back

0:25:270:25:31

# Where there is love # I'll be there. #

0:25:310:25:38

Fabulous. Sit down, thank you. Well done.

0:25:380:25:41

I feel like the wobbles of a couple of weeks ago are now starting

0:25:410:25:45

to dissipate. I think, once we're there, it's going to make sense.

0:25:450:25:48

This isn't about showing their vulnerability,

0:25:480:25:51

this is about showing their strength,

0:25:510:25:52

and how impressive a bunch of women they are.

0:25:520:25:55

CANNON FIRES

0:26:060:26:07

It's June 25th and Armed Forces Day.

0:26:070:26:11

CHEERING

0:26:110:26:14

For the people of Plymouth,

0:26:140:26:16

it's a chance to celebrate their military heritage.

0:26:160:26:19

Who's psyched? THEY CHEER

0:26:240:26:26

Really good. I just wanted to say a few words before we go in

0:26:270:26:30

and meet the ladies of Plymouth.

0:26:300:26:33

They're really quite nervous. Just remember they haven't done it before.

0:26:330:26:37

Is everyone ready for this?

0:26:370:26:39

-All: Yes!

-Good.

0:26:390:26:41

This way, everyone.

0:26:410:26:43

For Gareth, it's the first time his new,

0:26:440:26:46

100-strong choir will sing together.

0:26:460:26:49

To mark the occasion, the Chivenor choir arrive dressed in white,

0:26:490:26:54

with their Plymouth counterparts dressed in red.

0:26:540:26:56

I really think there might be some tears in the crowd. Definitely.

0:26:560:27:00

Yeah, I think you might... and in the choir, actually.

0:27:000:27:04

Yeah, definitely!

0:27:040:27:05

OK. The massed choirs of Plymouth

0:27:060:27:09

and Chivenor are are ready for their performance. Let's go. THEY CHEER

0:27:090:27:13

MARCHING MUSIC PLAYS

0:27:130:27:18

He did phone up very quickly this morning and just wish me good luck.

0:27:240:27:28

Apparently it's spread like wildfire out there that we're all singing,

0:27:280:27:32

so it's been really nice, absolutely fantastic.

0:27:320:27:34

Even though they're not here, they're all thinking of us.

0:27:340:27:38

That's going to be really special.

0:27:380:27:41

Up for it, adrenaline's kicked in.

0:27:410:27:43

Terrified.

0:27:430:27:45

I just hope I remember all the words.

0:27:450:27:47

SHE LAUGHS

0:27:470:27:48

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

0:27:480:27:50

It gives me great pride to stand in front of the group of women behind me.

0:27:500:27:55

Whilst the troops are away in Afghanistan

0:27:550:27:58

and other parts of the world, the wives and girlfriends are

0:27:580:28:02

left behind and are doing a hugely important job.

0:28:020:28:05

Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to present to you

0:28:050:28:08

the Plymouth and Chivenor Military Wives and Girlfriends Choirs,

0:28:080:28:13

along with the Band of the Royal Marines. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:28:130:28:18

# You and I must make a pact

0:28:260:28:30

# We must bring salvation back

0:28:300:28:35

# Where there is love I'll be there.

0:28:350:28:41

# Her eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they're not shining

0:28:430:28:47

# Her hair, her hair falls perfectly without her trying

0:28:470:28:51

# She's so beautiful and I tell her every day

0:28:510:28:58

# When I see your face

0:28:580:29:03

# There's not a thing that I would change

0:29:030:29:08

# Girl, you're amazing

0:29:080:29:11

# Just the way you are

0:29:110:29:16

# When I see your face

0:29:160:29:19

# I'll be there

0:29:190:29:21

# There's not a thing that I would change

0:29:210:29:24

# I'll be there

0:29:240:29:26

# Girl, you're amazing just the way you are

0:29:260:29:31

# I'll be there

0:29:310:29:34

# And when you smile

0:29:340:29:36

# I'll be there

0:29:360:29:38

# The whole world stops and stares for a while

0:29:380:29:42

# Girl, you're amazing just the way you are

0:29:420:29:49

# And I'll be there. #

0:29:490:29:52

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:29:520:29:55

We were watching, baby!

0:30:050:30:07

Yeah, they were really good, it was really good.

0:30:070:30:09

Fantastic they are supporting their husbands and boyfriends out in Afghanistan.

0:30:090:30:14

People forget about the wives and girlfriends and what

0:30:140:30:18

they have to go through when the soldiers are going away on tour.

0:30:180:30:21

I looked over and my mum was like that!

0:30:210:30:25

-I'm not crying because it was really bad.

-Did you enjoy it?

-Yeah.

0:30:250:30:30

-She's crying because she's happy.

-I just miss my husband.

0:30:300:30:34

It is a phenomenal feeling, I can't explain it. It's so nice.

0:30:340:30:38

All of us came together. It was awesome.

0:30:380:30:43

It's combined us all together.

0:30:430:30:45

We just feel like one big team now and it's just a really good feeling.

0:30:450:30:48

Bring on the next one!

0:30:480:30:50

You've got all these bands and all these women able to sing really well.

0:30:500:30:55

And uniting their voices, that sends a better message of support

0:30:550:30:59

to the troops than anything else I can think of.

0:30:590:31:01

It's so potent.

0:31:010:31:03

It just makes me think bigger - do more, more of this!

0:31:030:31:06

It's really, really strong.

0:31:060:31:08

It's midsummer.

0:31:130:31:16

Over the last four months, 9500 British troops have been fighting

0:31:160:31:20

in Afghanistan, leaving behind thousands of families.

0:31:200:31:23

Gareth is determined that his choir could be a voice for all of them.

0:31:230:31:27

I want the women to be heard by the upper echelons of the military.

0:31:270:31:31

Because at the moment, they support stoically and quietly

0:31:310:31:35

in the background. And I think they need the endorsement that comes

0:31:350:31:38

from being heard by people from the top ranks.

0:31:380:31:41

So I'm going somewhere where it's the perfect place for their next performance.

0:31:410:31:47

Sandhurst in Berkshire.

0:31:470:31:49

One of Britain's top military academies

0:31:490:31:51

and the place where the Army officers of the future are trained.

0:31:510:31:55

This is literally the most formal place I've ever been in my life.

0:31:550:31:59

Gareth wants his choir to sing here.

0:31:590:32:03

He's hoping it will be an opportunity to sell the idea

0:32:030:32:05

of military wives' choirs to the Army's top brass.

0:32:050:32:10

Prince Harry went to Sandhurst, Prince William went to Sandhurst,

0:32:100:32:13

It's the place in the military for the leaders of tomorrow.

0:32:130:32:16

So if they approve of what our women do and if they support it

0:32:160:32:21

and believe in it and are impressed by it, then it's job done.

0:32:210:32:25

Then they will feel like a choir of military wives.

0:32:250:32:29

I'm going to go and see the Commanding Officer of New College.

0:32:290:32:32

He's the man who has been responsible for the officers

0:32:320:32:35

for the last period while they've been training.

0:32:350:32:39

-Come in.

-Hello. Lieutenant Colonel Lambert?

-Hi, yes indeed.

-Gareth, hello.

-Good to meet you.

0:32:410:32:46

It would be good to tell you about what we've been doing.

0:32:460:32:49

The guys down at Chivenor on the base have told me

0:32:490:32:52

that they've had fewer complaints and phonecalls about welfare issues

0:32:520:32:56

while the choir's been in existence, which is great to hear.

0:32:560:33:01

The reason for performing to you at Sandhurst is trying to get the seal of approval

0:33:010:33:05

for what we've been doing and for what the women are doing.

0:33:050:33:08

This is something that they definitely want to continue. I'd love to see it continue.

0:33:080:33:12

I can't see a reason why it shouldn't. I'm not asking for money, but I'm looking to try

0:33:120:33:18

to find ways to make it continue. So this feels like our first performance for the military...

0:33:180:33:23

I don't know, let me know what you think.

0:33:230:33:25

-It's a great initiative and I'd certainly fully support it.

-Good.

0:33:250:33:29

I think it is important and I think it will mean something to the cadets

0:33:290:33:33

because it's much, much, much harder for the people you leave behind when you deploy.

0:33:330:33:37

-And I think this is the message that you bring.

-Yeah.

0:33:370:33:40

-And I welcome it wholeheartedly.

-Thank you, that's great.

0:33:400:33:43

I was really scared about coming here but this is absolutely appropriate.

0:33:430:33:48

This is the heart of the Army.

0:33:480:33:49

This is the perfect place for us to perform.

0:33:490:33:52

If we get this right, I think this will send ripples,

0:33:520:33:54

people will talk about it. We have to do a good job.

0:33:540:33:58

In Chivenor, rehearsals are back in full swing.

0:34:090:34:14

-Good morning, ladies.

-Morning.

0:34:140:34:16

But Gareth's choir has no idea what he has in store for them.

0:34:160:34:21

I've been talking a lot about getting you the recognition...

0:34:210:34:24

Look, you are all holding hands. Oh, gosh! What's he going to do?!

0:34:240:34:28

I think this is really good.

0:34:280:34:30

We are going to go and perform at a final dinner

0:34:300:34:34

as all of the officers pass out of Sandhurst.

0:34:340:34:37

Oh, wow!

0:34:370:34:39

I know. I'm glad that was your reaction.

0:34:390:34:42

It's going to be a kind of black tie and uniforms event.

0:34:420:34:47

It means posh frocks.

0:34:470:34:49

If we can do that, if we can stand up

0:34:490:34:51

on the stage in front of those people, get the approval

0:34:510:34:53

of the people who ultimately are the leaders of the army of tomorrow,

0:34:530:34:57

-it'll be really fantastic.

-Wow.

-Yes.

0:34:570:34:59

Sandhurst! My dream has come true. I've always wanted to go there.

0:35:000:35:06

It's just going to be amazing.

0:35:060:35:08

Really, really fab. Brilliant news.

0:35:080:35:11

It's quite a big occasion with the officers passing out.

0:35:110:35:15

It's really quite a grand occasion.

0:35:150:35:17

So we are going to have to be pretty top-notch, I think, to pull it off.

0:35:170:35:22

We will do a couple of numbers, but the most important thing

0:35:220:35:25

is we are going to be singing a classical choral piece.

0:35:250:35:29

It's in Latin, which you'll really enjoy.

0:35:290:35:34

Pange lingua gloriosi.

0:35:340:35:36

# Pange lingua gloriosi

0:35:370:35:44

# Corporis mysterium... #

0:35:440:35:51

Well done!

0:35:510:35:53

It's not quite the sound I'm looking for, but we'll get there.

0:35:530:35:57

They feel embarrassed about singing classical music, and it sounds like it.

0:35:570:36:02

There's no room for embarrassment at Sandhurst.

0:36:020:36:04

They've got to sell it.

0:36:040:36:08

Yeah, there's a little way to go.

0:36:080:36:11

For Sandhurst to be a success, Gareth needs to get the women singing confidently.

0:36:120:36:19

They are struggling with classical singing.

0:36:190:36:21

If you've never done it before, it's a totally different way of singing.

0:36:210:36:25

I need to work with them individually.

0:36:250:36:27

There's no way to do that en masse, you need really hear their voices.

0:36:270:36:31

What I want to do is build up the confidence of each section. I think it's really important.

0:36:310:36:37

To a certain degree, this might be shock therapy.

0:36:370:36:40

By the end of the morning, everyone will have sung one line on their own.

0:36:400:36:44

No way!

0:36:440:36:45

Emma. Hiding behind the pillar. It's your turn.

0:36:450:36:49

I really don't mind if it goes badly wrong.

0:36:490:36:52

# The storm shall not wake thee... #

0:36:520:36:57

That's a really good soprano-y sound. That's really good.

0:36:570:36:59

# ..At thy knees

0:36:590:37:02

# The storm shall not wake thee... #

0:37:020:37:06

Don't worry, just go for it and let the sound out. There's a really good voice in there.

0:37:060:37:10

# Asleep in the arms... #

0:37:100:37:14

Really nice instrument. Lovely voice.

0:37:140:37:18

# And black are the waters... #

0:37:180:37:21

# That sparkled so green... #

0:37:210:37:26

Well done, that's really brave. That's quite choirboyish, your voice. Rather lovely.

0:37:260:37:30

-Jo, ready? Here we go.

-No, I'm not ready.

0:37:300:37:34

Here we go. One... Do you want to do it in twos?

0:37:340:37:38

Do it in a two. Do it in a three.

0:37:380:37:41

-I'm totally tone-deaf. I know I am.

-Jo, I'll sing it with you.

0:37:410:37:45

You're not, you're not.

0:37:450:37:46

I speak like a man so I know what I'm like.

0:37:460:37:49

No, you don't, you have a beautiful voice.

0:37:490:37:52

Your parents have bequeathed you an instrument.

0:37:520:37:54

And it's not you, it's your voice, it's an instrument.

0:37:540:37:57

You have to play it like an instrument. Detach it from yourself.

0:37:570:38:02

It's the way that singers get through it.

0:38:020:38:04

You make a mistake, you go, "I don't know what happened to my voice there!"

0:38:040:38:08

It wasn't me, I was fine, but my voice messed it up. That's what you need to think about.

0:38:080:38:12

It isn't your personality that's on the line here.

0:38:120:38:14

Hold my hand. We'll sing it together. Here we go.

0:38:140:38:17

# A weary... #

0:38:170:38:19

You'll be fine, you'll be fine.

0:38:190:38:21

We'll sing it together. One, two, three.

0:38:210:38:24

# A weary flipperling

0:38:240:38:29

# Curl at thy... #

0:38:290:38:33

Do it again. # Our weary... #

0:38:330:38:35

-With me.

-Sorry!

-One, two, three.

0:38:350:38:38

# A weary flipperling

0:38:380:38:43

# Curl at thy knee. #

0:38:430:38:49

There, that's you.

0:38:490:38:50

The thing is, that was really good, you are concentrating on me

0:38:500:38:53

and not worrying about yourself and what people think.

0:38:530:38:57

And then you are making music and not just in yourself.

0:38:570:39:00

The torture is over. Well done.

0:39:000:39:02

I'm still shaking,

0:39:020:39:03

but I do feel I've moved on a little bit from it.

0:39:030:39:08

I don't feel so manly now.

0:39:080:39:10

Yeah, it was definitely worth it.

0:39:100:39:13

It was great. I thought it was really good.

0:39:130:39:16

Gosh, they were frightened, but so worth doing.

0:39:160:39:18

Because now that we can do that, I think the sky's the limit.

0:39:180:39:22

They are a good group of women, they really are.

0:39:220:39:24

And they are finding their voices.

0:39:240:39:26

The whole point of this is to give voice to these women

0:39:260:39:30

and make people hear them.

0:39:300:39:31

And it's amazing how much some of them hide and are terrified

0:39:310:39:35

of just being heard. They can't make a sound because they hide in their houses

0:39:350:39:40

and don't come out. This is forcing them to do it, and I think it's a really positive thing.

0:39:400:39:45

All of Gareth's choir are starting to progress,

0:39:450:39:48

but one singer in particular has caught his eye.

0:39:480:39:52

OK, on your feet. Here we go.

0:39:520:39:56

It's not a chance for a chat, have a chat later.

0:39:560:39:58

Ready, and...

0:39:580:40:00

# Fructus ventris generosi

0:40:000:40:05

# Rex effudit gentium. #

0:40:050:40:11

Sam, do you mind singing it on your own?

0:40:110:40:14

I can hear you really confidently, it sounds fantastic. Would you mind?

0:40:140:40:19

-No, I do mind.

-Give it a go.

-No!

0:40:190:40:22

Since they first met four months ago, Gareth's been struggling to get Sam

0:40:220:40:26

to sing in front of the rest of the choir.

0:40:260:40:29

-Sam, what's your singing experience?

-I was in a choir.

0:40:290:40:33

-Can I hear you sing on your own at some point?

-Right now?

0:40:330:40:36

-Not in front of people.

-No, when people have gone away.

0:40:360:40:39

Yeah, yeah, sorry.

0:40:390:40:40

# When the rain is blowing in your face... #

0:40:400:40:47

-Crap, sorry.

-It wasn't crap.

-No, I can't do it.

0:40:470:40:49

-# Before I put on my make-up... #

-Sorry.

0:40:490:40:53

-What are you apologising for?

-I don't know, I apologise for everything.

-Yes.

-Sorry. Sorry!

0:40:530:40:58

I'm sorry for saying sorry.

0:40:580:41:00

-Do it on your own.

-What? No, no.

-Sam, please. Go on.

0:41:000:41:04

Here we go. Ready? # Pange... # And -

0:41:040:41:06

# Pange lingua gloriosi

0:41:060:41:12

# Corporis mysterium

0:41:120:41:18

# Rex effudit gentium. #

0:41:180:41:23

APPLAUSE

0:41:230:41:27

I can safely say I've waited for a moment like that.

0:41:270:41:32

I really have. Thank you very much, it was absolutely beautiful. Brilliant singing.

0:41:320:41:37

That's how you do it.

0:41:370:41:38

I just wanted the world to eat me up,

0:41:380:41:40

I was so embarrassed to be singing in front of everybody.

0:41:400:41:45

But obviously, they liked it, but... My legs were like jelly.

0:41:450:41:49

Sam I thought was brilliant today, absolutely fantastic.

0:41:490:41:53

I knew she could sing, but I was really impressed with that.

0:41:530:41:56

That was a great... It was just a great moment. She can really sing.

0:41:560:42:00

It's a lovely voice. It's a lovely instrument, she's got the experience.

0:42:000:42:03

She's exactly what the choir needs. We need a leader.

0:42:030:42:07

We're going to the park.

0:42:070:42:10

But Sam's feeling the pressure of this tour of duty.

0:42:100:42:13

It's her husband's first deployment to Afghanistan

0:42:130:42:16

and the first time she's been on her own with the children.

0:42:160:42:20

Words can't explain how much I just want him to come home

0:42:200:42:26

and it to be all over and us to be just a family again.

0:42:260:42:30

Having him here every day...

0:42:300:42:32

I mean, you don't want to wish time away

0:42:320:42:35

but I really want time to go as quick as it can.

0:42:350:42:39

When Osama Bin Laden got shot...

0:42:400:42:44

This sound so naive and stupid and childlike.

0:42:440:42:49

I thought, he's been shot,

0:42:490:42:50

does that mean my husband gets to come home now?

0:42:500:42:53

You have a glimmer of hope, the tiniest bit of hope

0:42:530:42:56

that that's it over with, but then you put the reality on the other side of it.

0:42:560:43:01

That certainly isn't the case.

0:43:010:43:04

-Hi.

-Hello. That looks heavy.

-I've brought my keyboard, yes. How are you?

0:43:110:43:15

With the Sandhurst performance looming,

0:43:150:43:18

Gareth believes Sam is finally ready to face her fears.

0:43:180:43:22

# Pange lingua gloriosi... #

0:43:230:43:28

This is like a different Sam from the one...

0:43:280:43:31

I sat there and you went, "No, no, I can't, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

0:43:310:43:36

Just the sound that I'm at seeing in rehearsals now. Totally different.

0:43:360:43:41

-Oh.

-It's really good.

0:43:410:43:42

-We seem to have found your thing, really, haven't we?

-What, music wise?

0:43:420:43:47

-Yeah.

-For my voice? Yeah.

-It suits you so well.

0:43:470:43:51

-I was going to go to uni to study music in Edinburgh.

-Really?

0:43:510:43:55

-What happened?

-I met by husband.

0:43:550:43:57

-Really? So you sort of...

-Gave it all up for love.

0:43:570:44:01

-Gave it up.

-For love.

-Wow!

0:44:010:44:03

-Which... Quite rightly so.

-No regrets?

-No regrets.

0:44:030:44:05

But I feel as though it's my time to shine a little bit.

0:44:050:44:09

I think it is, I really do. I've been cooking up a plan.

0:44:090:44:12

I'd like to ask you to do a solo at Sandhurst.

0:44:120:44:16

It's going to be a square of real kind of top brass,

0:44:160:44:20

so they'll have loads of medals. I want you to walk out on your own

0:44:200:44:24

and then all the other women will join you from around.

0:44:240:44:27

Are you OK with that?

0:44:270:44:28

-I suppose!

-Yeah?

-I suppose so.

0:44:300:44:33

-Bye, Sam. Thank you.

-Thank you for coming round, Gareth.

-That was great. Well done.

0:44:330:44:37

-See you later.

-And you. Bye.

0:44:370:44:40

I'm really chuffed that he's offered me a solo.

0:44:400:44:43

I feel a little bit privileged.

0:44:430:44:46

Especially singing a solo at Sandhurst.

0:44:460:44:49

It's a bit nerve-racking, but I'm looking forward

0:44:490:44:53

to the challenge of it, so it should be really good.

0:44:530:44:57

I think the choir's had a bigger impact on Sam than anyone else.

0:44:570:45:00

It's restored her to life, I think.

0:45:000:45:02

She was really not in a good place when I first met her,

0:45:020:45:05

incredibly vulnerable, incredibly nervous, especially about singing,

0:45:050:45:09

and now she's necessary here.

0:45:090:45:10

The other women are relying on her because she's so confident.

0:45:100:45:14

But that's only returning to her now

0:45:140:45:16

and I think it's really good to see that she's not going to let that go.

0:45:160:45:20

She needs to sing, this woman, and it's really good to have helped her.

0:45:200:45:25

Both the Chivenor and Plymouth halves of Gareth's choir will sing at Sandhurst

0:45:290:45:33

and getting up to scratch is a challenge.

0:45:330:45:37

'Now we're running into our last couple of rehearsals,

0:45:370:45:40

'everyone's started to do rehearsals on their own and meet together'

0:45:400:45:44

and I think there's a little bit of terror.

0:45:440:45:47

I had a massive "Yeah!" from some and nothing from others.

0:45:470:45:50

'This has to be a big splash. At Sandhurst, it's got to be something amazing.

0:45:530:45:58

'This is an incredible place. The uniforms, the grandeur, the event, the formality of it.'

0:45:580:46:02

Don't under sing this.

0:46:020:46:04

'It's got to be theatrical, really amazing.

0:46:040:46:06

'I want those guys to go home and say, "Remember that event where those women sang?"

0:46:060:46:10

'That's what I'm looking for. Anything less than that will fail to send the message to the military.'

0:46:100:46:18

We're going to do that again.

0:46:180:46:20

# The boogie woogie bugle boy of company B. #

0:46:200:46:23

Well done.

0:46:230:46:24

She looks absolutely amazing. Love it!

0:46:240:46:27

That's good! That was really, really good.

0:46:330:46:35

'I think that they are doing really well.

0:46:370:46:39

'I'm just incredibly nervous about it.'

0:46:390:46:42

'This feels like the one to get right.'

0:46:450:46:48

It's the morning of the Sandhurst performance

0:46:510:46:54

and Gareth has a surprise for his choir.

0:46:540:46:57

Morning. Thank you very much for coming. Do you know what you're doing?

0:46:570:47:00

Right, OK. I'm afraid it's singing.

0:47:000:47:04

Good reaction. Excellent. Come on. It won't be as bad as you think it's going to be.

0:47:050:47:10

If you wait round the corner, they won't see. I'll keep this door shut.

0:47:100:47:14

Right. OK. Good morning, ladies.

0:47:160:47:20

We are going to go and do a very, very scary thing today.

0:47:200:47:25

I felt like the mood has been extremely serious in the last few rehearsals

0:47:250:47:29

so I felt like you needed something to lighten the mood a little bit.

0:47:290:47:34

So I had a little word with Colonel Brown

0:47:340:47:36

and I've organised for something... I think it's got to be a first,

0:47:360:47:41

I really think it's got to be a first, because, for you, as a gesture of goodwill,

0:47:410:47:45

you've sung for them, now they're going to sing for you.

0:47:450:47:50

It's the Rear Party!

0:47:500:47:53

CHEERING

0:47:530:47:55

# I've got sunshine

0:48:050:48:07

# On a cloudy day

0:48:070:48:10

# When it's cold outside

0:48:120:48:15

# I've got the month of May

0:48:150:48:19

# I guess you'll say

0:48:210:48:25

# What can make me feel this way?

0:48:250:48:30

# My girl, my girl, my girl

0:48:300:48:33

# Talking 'bout my girl

0:48:330:48:36

# My girl

0:48:360:48:38

# I've got so much honey... #

0:48:380:48:41

CHEERING

0:48:410:48:43

# Do do do do do

0:48:430:48:46

# I've got a sweeter song

0:48:460:48:50

# Than the birds in the trees

0:48:500:48:52

# Do do do do do

0:48:520:48:55

# I guess you'll say

0:48:550:48:59

# What can make me feel this way?

0:48:590:49:03

# My girl

0:49:030:49:05

# My girl, my girl

0:49:050:49:07

# Talking 'bout my girl

0:49:070:49:09

# My girl. #

0:49:090:49:11

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:49:110:49:17

It was all right, yeah. A good thing to do, really.

0:49:170:49:20

It's got them psyched up, so it's for them, the end of the day.

0:49:200:49:24

Ladies, are we ready for Sandhurst?

0:49:240:49:28

-ALL:

-Yes!

0:49:280:49:29

OK. Off you go. Let's go.

0:49:290:49:32

APPLAUSE

0:49:320:49:35

Shoulder...

0:49:430:49:45

arms!

0:49:450:49:46

It's the biggest event of the Sandhurst calendar.

0:49:500:49:54

Today, 260 cadets will receive their commissions in a grand passing out ceremony.

0:49:570:50:03

Gareth's choir will sing at a formal dinner to mark the end of months of training

0:50:080:50:13

and the beginning of their careers as army officers.

0:50:130:50:17

With the parade over, the Plymouth and Chivenor choirs arrive

0:50:170:50:20

to prepare for their evening performance.

0:50:200:50:23

Welcome to Sandhurst!

0:50:230:50:25

-Everyone all right?

-Yes!

0:50:250:50:27

It is massive. I didn't expect it to be this big.

0:50:270:50:31

'It looks absolutely fabulous so everyone's got butterflies now.'

0:50:310:50:34

Everything's getting all excited.

0:50:340:50:36

It's looking really good though, I must admit.

0:50:360:50:38

'Scared. Really scared.'

0:50:380:50:40

Nerves have definitely kicked in.

0:50:400:50:43

My stomach is going 100 mph and I want to run away.

0:50:430:50:47

I just want to run away. I'm not feeling good right now.

0:50:470:50:50

This is like no other gig I have ever done.

0:50:500:50:53

Gig is the wrong word. This is a ceremony.

0:50:530:50:56

This is the real deal and it's so formal here

0:50:560:50:59

and the women are all putting their hair in rollers and their lipstick...

0:50:590:51:04

I see now why they've gone to such an effort because it's so formal.

0:51:040:51:08

The uniforms and the table covered in silverware. It's just astonishing.

0:51:080:51:13

Ooh!

0:51:150:51:16

Pretty nervous. I feel like it's a responsibility...

0:51:230:51:28

..because they needed a voice and this is about giving them

0:51:300:51:33

that voice right now in front of these guys.

0:51:330:51:37

Ladies, just gather a bit closer.

0:51:380:51:41

May I say, you are the most beautiful choir in the UK at this time.

0:51:410:51:45

-All:

-Awwwww.

0:51:450:51:47

Try and hold it together.

0:51:470:51:49

Focus on all the things we've done in rehearsal.

0:51:490:51:51

The posture, the breathing, the singing...

0:51:510:51:55

THEY LAUGH

0:51:550:51:57

Stay strong, be really positive

0:51:570:51:59

and just sing your socks off. Good luck.

0:51:590:52:03

-Ready?

-Yes.

-Good.

0:52:030:52:06

General, ladies and gentlemen, can I introduce, please,

0:52:060:52:09

Gareth Malone and the Military Wives Choir.

0:52:090:52:12

General, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to sing a small selection

0:52:300:52:35

starting with a piece of plainsong from 1263.

0:52:350:52:39

Can I say, congratulations on your achievements and it's a real honour to be here as part of this.

0:52:390:52:45

I know this is a very important dinner for you, so thank you very much for having us this evening.

0:52:450:52:50

# Pange lingua

0:53:010:53:04

# Gloriosi

0:53:040:53:07

# Corporis

0:53:070:53:09

# Mysterium

0:53:090:53:13

# Sanguinisque pretiosi

0:53:130:53:17

# Quem in mundi pretium

0:53:170:53:21

# Fructus ventris generosi

0:53:210:53:27

# Rex effudit gentium

0:53:270:53:33

-CHOIR SINGS:

-# Nobis datus

0:53:330:53:37

# Nobis natus

0:53:370:53:40

# Ex intacta virgine

0:53:400:53:46

# Et in mundo conversatus

0:53:460:53:53

# Miro clausit ordine. #

0:53:530:54:00

APPLAUSE

0:54:010:54:06

There is a slight ulterior motive to coming here tonight,

0:54:100:54:15

which is to persuade you, the military in general,

0:54:150:54:19

of the importance of singing, and hopefully I would love to see

0:54:190:54:24

choirs like this continuing and springing up long into the future. I think there is a great need for it.

0:54:240:54:30

In order to start to spread this a little further,

0:54:300:54:34

I went to Plymouth to create the second part of this growing choir

0:54:340:54:40

so I'm delighted now to invite the women

0:54:400:54:43

of the Plymouth Military Wives Choir to come and join us. Here they come.

0:54:430:54:47

APPLAUSE

0:54:470:54:51

One, two, one, two, three, four.

0:54:540:54:56

PIANO STARTS UP

0:54:560:54:59

# He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago way

0:55:010:55:05

# He had a boogie style that no-one else could play

0:55:050:55:07

# He was the top man of his craft

0:55:070:55:10

# But then his number came up

0:55:100:55:11

# And he was gone with the draft

0:55:110:55:13

# He's in the army now, he's blowing reveille

0:55:130:55:15

# He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of company B

0:55:150:55:18

# They made him blow a bugle For his Uncle Sam

0:55:180:55:21

# It really brought him down because he couldn't jam

0:55:210:55:24

# The captain seemed to understand

0:55:240:55:27

# Because the next day the cap' went out and drafted a band

0:55:270:55:30

# And now the company jumps when he plays reveille

0:55:300:55:33

# He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

0:55:330:55:37

# Toot toot he blows it eight to the bar

0:55:370:55:40

# He can't play a note

0:55:400:55:42

# If the bass and guitar isn't with him

0:55:420:55:45

# He makes the company jump when he plays reveille

0:55:450:55:49

# He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of company B. #

0:55:490:55:53

APPLAUSE AND WHISTLING

0:55:530:55:59

That was the first time I've seen a military wives' choir and they were amazing.

0:56:080:56:13

I think we've got a genuine respect for what they do.

0:56:130:56:17

They take a lot on while the lads are away so it's really nice to see.

0:56:170:56:20

The girlfriends and wives are the real unsung heroes when we go away.

0:56:200:56:23

They're the strength behind us. They keep us doing what we do.

0:56:230:56:27

Inspirational. Really, really inspirational.

0:56:270:56:30

The fact that when they're singing, they're pretty emotional about it

0:56:300:56:33

proves to those of us who've been away and not really understood

0:56:330:56:37

what it's like to be left behind, it brings it home, really.

0:56:370:56:41

Was that a good reaction?

0:56:410:56:43

I've not seen it before, so it must have been pretty good.

0:56:430:56:46

So you hit the spot.

0:56:460:56:48

CHEERING

0:56:480:56:51

Ladies, that was absolutely fantastic, absolutely great.

0:56:510:56:54

It sounded really accomplished. It had gravitas, grandeur and it had a great dose of fun at the end.

0:56:540:56:59

It was brilliant. Really well done. Great job. Sandhurst accomplished!

0:56:590:57:04

CHEERING

0:57:040:57:07

I tell you what, that was awesome.

0:57:080:57:10

To stand there and see all the lads...

0:57:100:57:15

I can't even describe the feeling.

0:57:150:57:17

-Very proud.

-I'm proud of you.

-I'm proud of you!

0:57:170:57:20

We showed what we're made of, you know. We're strong,

0:57:200:57:24

we're gutsy and we like a challenge.

0:57:240:57:27

Oh, man, I feel so good now. I want to go back and do it again.

0:57:270:57:32

It was amazing.

0:57:320:57:34

I feel so much more confident now and I can just take on anything.

0:57:340:57:37

I feel really good.

0:57:370:57:39

I'm really proud of them.

0:57:470:57:49

It was really good.

0:57:490:57:52

Scariest gig of my life.

0:57:530:57:56

Next time... After six long months of waiting for their loved ones,

0:58:000:58:04

the men finally return home from Afghanistan.

0:58:040:58:08

Daddy!

0:58:080:58:09

It's like Christmas morning as a kid, that kind of feeling.

0:58:090:58:15

In a grand finale, Gareth's choir will perform at the Royal Albert Hall

0:58:150:58:19

in the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance.

0:58:190:58:22

I want this to be the best thing you've ever done, a very proud moment.

0:58:220:58:26

It's so exciting. I can't put into words. It's such a shock.

0:58:260:58:30

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:400:58:44

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:440:58:48

Choirmaster Gareth Malone has formed a new choir of military wives at RMB Chivenor in north Devon while their husbands deploy to Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty.

The choir's first public performance was a triumph, singing to the local community of Barnstaple, and now Gareth wants his choir to spread and help wives on other bases across the country. He heads to nearby Plymouth, whose troops are suffering fatalities out in Afghanistan. Though Gareth is concerned whether singing in a choir can really help at such a sensitive time, he's overwhelmed by eager new recruits and organises a joint performance for his choirs to sing on Armed Forces Day on the Plymouth seafront.

Gareth must manage emotions that ride high as the two choirs struggle to combine, and then he has to persuade them they are good enough to spread their message further and sing together at Sandhurst Officer Training Academy to get the seal of approval from the military establishment's top brass.


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