History of the Brize Singers
Formerly the Royal Air Force Brize Norton Singers
Founded in 1969
The Singers were formed on the 5th March1969 and held their first musical performance in August of that year in the Officers Mess at RAF Brize Norton.
The early years saw the Singers appear on TV with the late Hughie Green, firstly in Opportunity Knocks, a popular Talent Show in 1970, and then in the Variety Club Show in 1971 and again in 1973. They also sang before Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at RAF Brize Norton in 1971. Around this time the Singers recorded three long playing records; some members have copies of these.
Over the years they have performed at many venues locally and as far afield as South Wales. In 1990 the RAF Brize Norton Singers played a major part in The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall.
In December 2003 it was decided to rename the RAF Brize Norton Singers and they formally became The Brize Singers.
The Choir's 50th Anniversary
Throughout the years the choir has sung under a number of Musical Directors; some of these were present at the Brize Singers’ 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert. This was held on the 17th May 2019 at the Corn Exchange, Witney.
The venue was packed to capacity. It was an evening that all the Singers will remember with pride. RAF Cadets from a local Squadron were present and assisted in serving drinks and refreshments and showing the audience to their seats, maintaining the link with the RAF.
The successful evening was conducted by the current Musical Director, Elliott Rooney and the Singers were accompanied by Bernard West, a previous Musical Director .
The Choir During The Pandemic
2020 saw the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns. This didn’t deter Elliott who overcame the difficulties by holding choir practices via Zoom each week; a very different evening but none the less fun and productive. Elliott produced a video of the choir singing Christmas Carols and Songs which he recorded from our Zoom practices and small group rehearsals. These were sent to local Care Homes for the enjoyment of the Residents during very difficult times.
The Brize Singers, throughout the years, have raised thousands of pounds for local charities. The 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert saw the RAF Benevolent Fund and SAAFA as recipients of the profits of this special evening.