A RYEDALE choir with its very own ‘Gareth Malone’ is hoping to encourage more people to discover the joy of singing.

Bulmer Choir has about 30 singers who meet weekly in the village hall.

Since joining 18 months ago, conductor Robert Dufton has introduced the choir to a wider spectrum of music from Abba to Verdi and Rutter to Lloyd Webber.

The 25-year-old is a former pupil at Ampleforth College, where he was a member of three choirs, before securing a choral scholarship at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall.

“I have been involved with choirs since my schooldays and after studying at university I have always looked for choirs in the area I lived in to get involved with,” he said.

Aided by accompanist Chris Welch from Pickering, Robert aims to lead “lively and entertaining rehearsals”, often demonstrating every part, including the highest soprano notes.

“The choir has come a long way and my aim is to encourage more public appearances so they can sing for family and friends,” he added.

Bulmer Choir gave a successful concert in St Michael’s Church, Malton, last September and is now practising for its next performance in April.

It is recruiting new members who can learn the concert material alongside existing choir members.

Robert believes singing is something most people could do if they gave it a try and that they would enjoy finding they have a voice.

“We’d warmly welcome anyone who would like to come and sing with us. If you’ve sung in a choir before and can read music that’s great and we’d love to meet you,“ he said.

“But if your singing to date has only been in the shower and you can’t tell a crotchet from a quaver do come and give us a try. We’ll give you all the support we can to help you discover the joy of singing with others.’ The choir meets each Wednesday in Bulmer Village Hall from 7.45 to 9.45pm with a break for tea and home-made cake.

To find out more, visit the website www.bulmerchoir.co.uk, phone Blair Wallace on 07736 060620, or just turn up on their next rehearsal night.