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Issue 342 – Teacher strives for Christmas number one with Military Wives Choir

A TEACHER at a local school is a member of TV’s Military Wives Choir, who appeared on BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ on Saturday night. The choir is a favourite to be this year’s Christmas number one single.

Jacqueline Beardsley, head of studies at Springmead School in Beckington, joined the military wives choir when it was formed in June last year. Jacqueline spends her working week with the children in school and her weekends in Plymouth. Little did she realise, when she joined the choir, that it would lead to The Royal Albert Hall, recording studios, TV appearances and a reception at 10 Downing Street with David Cameron.
Jacqueline, whose husband is a Royal Navy chaplain, currently serving with 42 Commando Royal Marines said, “It was a fantastic opportunity to make new friends while my husband was away on a seven-month deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
“The Military Wives Choir has made the public aware of the families back home who deal with long separation and fear for their loved ones whilst still having to deal with everyday routines and problems at home, bringing up children, keeping house and home together.”
The Military Wives Choir hope that their single, ‘Wherever You Are’ will reach the top music singles spot this Christmas. Proceeds from the single will go towards The Royal British Legion and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) to help military families.
The 50-strong choir was started by TV choir maestro Gareth Malone. Very few of the women had any musical background.
They have now performed in venues around Plymouth and at Sandhurst, which culminated in a three-part TV series on BBC 2, followed by Saturday’s ‘Strictly’ performance.
Jacqueline commented, “It has been wonderful to share my experiences with the children at school. The whole adventure has very much been in keeping with our school motto, ‘seize the day’.”

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