Jill studied music at school and played piano and percussion in the orchestra. Her singing career consisted of belting out hymns until she discovered Barbershop and got hooked. Jill initially sang in a London chorus and joined Spinnaker after moving to Chichester in 2013. “There’s nothing to beat the buzz from singing in a big chorus and feeling an emotional connection with the audience”, she says, “barbershop singing seems to bring out my inner diva!” When she’s not singing Jill is vice-chair of governors at Chichester University. She is an organiser of the Chichester Festival and volunteers at HMP Ford. She writes under the nom-de-plume Jill King.
Kate was convinced she couldn’t sing when she was younger. It was only at an audition with Spinnaker that she discovered she was a natural bass and could reach the low notes with ease. She was introduced to the chorus by a friend in 2009 and has never looked back. “It’s fun and challenging being part of Spinnaker,” she says. “Rehearsals are all-absorbing, which is strangely good for relaxation, and being part of a group of highly motivated and positive ladies is very special.” When she’s not singing, or involved in chorus organisation, Kate enjoys her job as a solicitor and dances ‘40s and ‘50s style with her husband.
Nuala once sang solo at Bath Abbey with her school choir, but in later life confined herself to the odd Karaoke evening. Then in 2005 she spotted a singing course run by Spinnaker. “I was recovering from cancer at the time,” says Nuala, “and this seemed just what I needed to get my mojo back. I was welcomed with open arms, and proudly competed at convention in 2006 when we won the best mid-size chorus award.” Nuala is clear that singing is more than a hobby. “I’ve tried swimming, Pilates and yoga,” she says, “but singing with Spinnaker is the best way to relax I know.” Nuala has a career in Finance and enjoys her family and friends, live music and cinema.
Colleen enjoyed singing in Gilbert and Sullivan productions as a child but got the barbershop bug a few years ago with another chorus. She attended a Spinnaker rehearsal in January 2015 and was instantly impressed. “I was amazed by the incredible wall of sound,” she says, “and just knew I had to join!” But for Colleen Spinnaker is about a lot more than singing. “The friendship and support creates a strong bond,” she explains, “and I love the learning and the challenge that being part of the chorus provides.” When she’s not singing Colleen loves to travel with her partner as well as the theatre, walking and calligraphy.
Tracy’s singing career started in the school choir where she enjoyed performing in Gilbert & Sullivan productions. She attended a Spinnaker ‘Learn to sing’ course in 2013, and loved it so much she joined the chorus. “Initially I didn’t think I’d be good enough,” she says, “but on my first visit I couldn’t stop smiling and I became determined to pass my audition.” Since then Tracy hasn’t looked back. “Spinnaker is a very special part of my life,” she explains. “Rehearsals are so much fun and I’ve made lots of lovely friends. We are one big happy family.” Tracy enjoys working as a Midday Supervisory Assistant and School Escort as well as spending time with her friends with a cappuccino and some cake!
Kay grew up in a house full of music and has sung in choirs since she was eight. She was the Musical Director of the Portchester Playersfor many years and has coached choruses and soloists as well as appearing in musicals herself and singing in bands. Kay was introduced to Spinnaker through an old school friend and joined the Chorus in September 2015. “It was an instant love affair,” she says, “being part of the Chorus means the world to me. I love learning new songs and techniques ,and above all I treasure the constant striving for perfection.” When she’s not singing Kay enjoys travelling and navigating the English canals with her husband Paul and Archie the dog.
As a child Karen attended speech and drama classes to lose her lisp, but she learnt music easily and her love of singing and performing began. When she later traced her birth mother she found she’d been a singer in a band – so music was in her genes! Karen started singing barbershop in 2007 following a newspaper ad. She sang in a quartet Majestik from 2010, and joined Spinnaker Chorus in 2014. “The girls were amazing,” she says, “so talented, yet friendly and caring, with an ethos of energy and confidence. I absolutely loved it.” Karen also sings with dectet, Decadence, and quartet Sapphire. When she’s not singing she loves family time with her six gorgeous grandchildren. She works full time for Children’s services.
Gillian grew up believing she was tone deaf and went to great lengths to avoid singing for many years. Then in 2011 she was persuaded by her husband and a good friend to join a ‘Learn to Sing’ course run by Spinnaker chorus. “Although I was very nervous,” Gillian says, “it wasn’t as scary as I’d anticipated. I was given lots of support and encouragement and passed my audition to join the chorus in January 2012. Since then,” she continues, “Spinnaker has become a source of friendship, learning, laughter, relaxation and achievement.” Gillian is a charity trustee and mother of two. She enjoys riding motorbike pillion, sewing, cooking, reading and walking.
Although Lesley claims to have little background in music, her mum’s family all sang regularly in the local pub, and three of her nieces were backing singers for Cliff Richard! So a passion for singing is in her genes. Lesley started singing Barbershop around fifteen years ago and was one of the founder members of Spinnaker. She describes it as “simply the best.” When she’s not singing Lesley enjoys spending time with her four daughters and three grand-daughters. She loves her job, working with people with learning disabilities, and relaxes by making things and painting and decorating.
Fundraising Team Coordinator
Elspeth has always loved singing and enjoyed going along to Spinnaker concerts to watch one of her dear friends perform. She was so impressed she attended a Spinnaker workshop which she loved. When she retired Elspeth attended a ‘Learn to Sing’ course and joined the Chorus in December 2012. “Being in Spinnaker means having a laugh, belonging to a great sorority of women and challenging myself to do new things,” she says. “I love it when we go away for family free weekends and get the chance to dress up in our performance costumes.” When she’s not singing Elspeth enjoys playing golf, Nordic walking, cycling and kayaking.
Fundraising Team Coordinator
Wendy joins Elspeth in this important role. Wendy has always had a love of singing – whether it be in school choirs, at church, around the house or in the shower. In fact, she’s known at the NHS hospital where she works, as the Sister who sings all day long. So when a colleague was looking to recruit for the chorus, Wendy was the obvious choice. She attended a Spinnaker ‘Learn to Sing’ course and joined the Chorus in 2013. “I’ve tried many hobbies,” Wendy says, “but nothing comes close to being part of Spinnaker. It’s where you find challenges, friendships, support, lots of laughter and the chance to learn new skills.” Wendy is a mother and grandmother and a member of her local church.