Choir singing in the afternoon is proving to be a big hit across the West of England, raising just over £30,000 for community groups in 2023.
There are Good Afternoon Choirs from Gloucester down to Cornwall, and the Bath choir last year supported Sing to Beat Parkinson’s, mental health charity Mind and the Children’s Hospice South West.
Founder Grenville Jones, from Bath, has a worldwide reputation as a choir leader and advocates the health benefits of belonging in a choir.
He is also well-known as founder of the Golden-Oldies Sing and Smile Charity – now in its 16th year – with its 120 daytime fun sessions in church halls and community rooms across England and Wales.
Grenville also runs a Thursday evening mixed voice choir in Bath, the Welcome Chorus, which has more than 70 singers.
He is also the founder conductor of the celebrated City of Bath Male Choir, now conducted by his son Laurie. They hit the headlines on the BBC’s Last Choir Standing Saturday night series.
Grenville started the community Good Afternoon Choirs in his home city 15 years ago; choirs that sing in the daytime with no auditions and with the accent on fun singing, making friends and supporting local organisations with fundraising concerts.
In recent years the Good Afternoon Choirs have raised many thousands of pounds for local groups.
There are now 24 of them, with more planned later in the year. Grenville takes four of the choirs himself and employs many talented freelance leaders and accompanists.
Grenville said: “I am fortunate to have a great team of leaders and all admin support comes from our office in Westfield, near Bath. Our choir members are now choosing the local organisations they want to help this year.”
The Bath Good Afternoon Choir meets on Thursday, as does the Norton Radstock one. The Keynsham one meets on Wednesdays. Full details on all the choirs and rehearsal times can be found at www.goodafternoonchoir.org.
In addition, the Good Afternoon Choirs helped to raise funds in 2023 for St Catherine’s Church near Frome, Keynsham & District Mencap, Great Western Hospital Cancer Services and the Royal British Legion.
Grenville also organised and funded a concert in Bath Abbey in November to commemorate the life of his son Kieron who passed away in July.
This concert was supported by many of Grenville’s choir members and raised £7,400 for We Get It, a charity supporting families living with cancer.