A 'FUN' Ladies Chorus has welcomed a new musical director and hopes to attract some new song-loving, toe-tapping members.

Claire Hawkes has joined Vale Connection, a ladies a cappella chorus based in Evesham.

Claire Claire’s musical career began at the age of ten when she won a Buckinghamshire County Music Scholarship. She was awarded a Foundation Scholarship to study clarinet and piano at The Royal College of Music in 1997 where she won the RCM Clarinet Prize and Thurston Competition and gained her Diploma in solo piano.

After leaving the RCM, Claire embarked on a busy freelance career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician for ten years, which took her playing and coaching all across England, Europe and Africa and included various performances on TV and Radio. During this time she also held posts as Junior Fellow at the RCM and chamber music coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Following two years studying for a Masters Degree in historical performance in France, and a year working at Kampala Music School, Uganda, Claire set down roots in the South West and was Director of Music at Leweston School, Sherborne, for seven years. No stranger to directing choirs, she led the chapel choir on a tour to South Africa and injected the Choral Society with inspiring and challenging works such as ‘Zimbe’, Ellington’s ‘Scared Concert’ and Mozart’s Requiem.

Vale Connection will be holding an open rehearsal on Thursday March 12 starting at 8pm at St Mary and St Egwin Community Centre, High St, Evesham, WR11 4EJ, so if you are interested in joining the chorus, or fancy an evening of singing, feel free to go along.

The evening will be run musical director, Claire Hawkes, it will be free of charge.