March's Blog Comes From Our Wonderful (not to mention incredibly talented!!) Musical Director -


Well - who would have believed we’d have come this far! It is now 4+ years since I first answered the advert for a Musical Director for a new community choir in Middleton Cheney. The initiative came from South Northants “Get Loud in Libraries" campaign and founder member Maggie Smith raised the idea of a community choir for the village.

After an initial meeting, where I suppose I was also being auditioned for the role, we started in May 2012 with a dozen or so ladies and one man! I felt very much like Gareth Malone and we started with some simple songs, but to my delight there was talent hidden in the members and we were very soon tackling parts. Sadly our one man departed, despite a big campaign. Never to be put off by any challenge, I decided we would do a summer concert. At that time I also conducted The Shenlow Singers, a long standing four part choir and they joined us for the event. Each choir sang their own repertoire and then we cames together for several numbers. The event was held in the barn behind the New Inn and the MC Singers was born.

Perhaps a little about my background: I was born in Banbury and educated at Banbury School. I did a degree in Music and Drama at Hull University and then returned to teach at Banbury School. I left Banbury to take up the position of Head of Music in Tenterden, Kent. After several years of teaching and music making in the area, I was allowed a few years away from teaching, and moved to Wales. As well as running a small business and teaching piano and singing, I even conducted a local choral society in Machynlleth at that time. Amazing - a woman and English!!

I returned to Kent in 1993 and back to teaching Music and Special Needs. I rose through the ranks to become Vice Principal of one of the biggest schools in Kent, which was also a specialist Arts College -that was my baby.

I semi retired from the chalkface in 2004, only to find myself working as a consultant and travelling the length and breadth of the country supporting the development of the new Academies Programme. This was combined with living part-time in France.

And so, moving to the present day - I returned to Banbury 2007/8, when my parents became ill, and stayed. I continued with my consultancy work until 2012, when I became ill. Now I am even more retired, but have turned my attention to Art. I embarked on a formal training course at Leamington in 2009 and I am now in the final year of a Masters Degree in Fine Art at Birmingham City University.

I am very proud to be the Musical Director of the MC Singers. they have gone from strength to strength. They are never scared to take on the challenge of some of the music I present to be sung. Every rehearsal is full of laughter and hard work and I am honoured to be part of this exciting little choir. Not so little, we now have over 30 members, including men.

Looking forward to this year’s programme of concerts and hope to see all of our loyal followers and new audiences in the future. New members are always welcome - any age, gender or ability!

Watch this space for our continued success……….

Sue (Susie) Wightman - Musical Director


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