Brough Girling, Bass

Now I come to think about it, I've joined quite a few amateur choirs in my time: choirs from Chipping Norton to Cornwall.

They've all been friendly and pleasurable outfits to belong to, but I must say that Stroud Choral has probably been the most welcoming I've come across.

Joining a group of people you don't know is obviously a little daunting - but at Stroud there are no auditions, and existing members seem very good at spotting a new-comer! And like all the choirs I've ever known, there's a goodly group of stalwarts who retire to the pub after practice.

Sam Tolley, Soprano

I finally joined Stroud Choral Society in January 2012.

I have always loved cathedrals and choral music. Carols at Gloucester over Christmas was the final push I needed. The thought it would be another year before singing again was just too much!

I had never sung in a choir but I could read music, I was undaunted.

My first practice turned out to be far more cerebral and exhausting than I had ever imagined but far more rewarding too. It's been a true learning experience which has stimulated the mind and the soul.

I discovered early on that there was a social element to the society and have found myself in various pubs in Stroud on a Monday evening, an unexpected bonus for my social life!

I was astonished at how fast my confidence grew and that I could sing in a concert just twelve weeks after joining, a tribute to the Huw's leadership, patience and good humour!