OUR STAFF AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Musical Director - Nicola Hunt
Nicola Hunt was born in Liverpool and began her musical journey at the Junior RAM in London, and Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. Nicola continued her undergraduate and post graduate studies at the RNCM in Manchester, supported by The Peter Moore's Foundation and The Wall Trust.
After graduation, Nicola toured with Diva Opera internationally for several years, and has enjoyed performing as a soloist with many of the UK's finest choirs and orchestras in venues such as The Sage, the Wigmore hall. Lincoln's Inn and the Royal Philharmonic Hall. Nicola has also performed at local venues such as Chatsworth, Haddon hall and Kedleston Hall.
Having settled in the East Midlands, Nicola is in demand as a vocalist, choral conductor, workshop leader and musical teacher. Currently MD of Sonara singers and The Rockabillies Choir, Nicola is Head of Singing at St. Anselm's, Bakewell and delivers whole school music, specialist singing lessons and choir at The Old Vicarage School in Darley Abbey.
Accompanyist - Teresa Mills (LCTL ALCM)
Teresa is a long standing member of the choir. A local girl, she began playing the piano at the age of 9, inspired by the beautiful sounds and not least by watching Liberace on TV every Sunday night!
She won many prizes in the Nottingham and Beeston music festivals, gaining her diploma in piano teaching under the guidance of Brenda May and Sylvia Bowden.
Her accompanying career began whilst studying A Level music, when she was always in demand from her fellow students.
She joined the Alfreton Ladies Choir in 1981, where her professionalism and dedication is much appreciated by all members of the choir.
Chairman and Assistant Conductor - Helen Beresford
Helen first started singing at the age of 5 going on to attain her Grade 7 in voice whilst studying at South East Derbyshire College. She has always been involved with local school choirs and musical theatre groups including singing with the Gateway Theatre Company until it dissolved in 1990.
A loyal member of the choir, she supports the Musical Director in the day-to-day rehearsing of the choir.
Treasurer - Pam Cox
Pam works for Lloyds Bank but still finds time for singing. She sings with a small village choir but found this wasn’t enough to full-fill her need for singing.
In 2011 she contacted Liz Moulder who was Musical Director at that time and decided this could be the choir for her, although a little nervous at her first attendance, she joined the choir and now enjoys raising money for local charities through her love of singing.
Pam accepted the role of Choir Treasurer in 2019 and is looking forward to what the future holds over the coming years.
Events Secretary - Jennifer Howe
Jennifer first sang with the choir upon return to the area after completing a Performing Arts Honours Degree which focused on vocal music. Having sung with and subsequently directed singing groups, Jennifer returned to Sonara Singers a number of years later enjoying the breadth of the pieces being performed and the camaraderie of the group. A desire to help moving the choir forward led to Jennifer taking on the role of Events Secretary to assist in ensuring the style and skill of the choir continues to grow and be appreciated by our audiences.
Membership Secretary and Middle Representative - Irene Brown
I have been an infant school teacher for 35 years. Since retiring from teaching in 2012, I have run Joe Brown Contractors Ltd, a Tarmac surfacing and civil engineering company which I inherited from my husband Joe.
I have loved music all my life, mostly as an instrumentalist, from being in a school recorder orchestra at seven years old, to playing clarinet in the school, college and Alfreton Light Orchestras. I joined the Sonara Singers five years ago to continue and develop my love of singing, and am now enjoying taking a more active role within the choir.
Minutes Secretary - Jackie Chamberlain
I began my love of singing at a very young age whilst attending Sunday School and throughout my time in the secondary school choir in the North-east of England. I first joined the Alfreton Ladies Choir, as it was then in 2006, after being inspired by my mother-in-law who continues to remain a long-standing choir member. I took a break from singing between 2012 and 2014 to pursue a university degree in social work, however throughout this time I remained a keen member, returning when taking a break from study.
Although I have been a member since 2006, this is the first role I have undertaken as part of the choir committee. This opportunity has helped me to recognise the responsibility one holds as a committee partner. It has also enabled me to appreciate the dedication and passion each member displays, whilst seeking to improve the choir's performance, repertoire and reputation, to ultimately enhance our audience experience.
Soprano Rep - Jenni Sole
I joined the choir 12 years ago after seeing a drama on the tv about a choir.
We had recently moved into the area and I thought "Why not?"
I've always loved music and can remeber more lyrics to songs when I was at school than the actual lessons!
Sue Boffey - Vice Chairman
I'm pleased that you've found our Sonara Singers website, perhaps you are a lady who simply loves to sing? Or would like to return to singing?
We are a friendly, welcoming group with no audition. Our enthusiasm is nurtured by our highly experienced and extremely skilled Musical Director, and equally talented pianist. We strive to improve our repertoire, to be the best that we can be, with lots of laughter built-in. We rehearse weekly to prepare for performances to benefit charities nominated by our members. We have enjoyed singing at weddings, cathedrals, Chatsworth house, Christmas events, and created many a smile in our audiences.
I have sung in church and youth choirs, folk groups, with BBC Songs of Praise and twice at the Royal Albert Hall with 1000 other voices.
Music lightens our hearts, brings friends together and none of us would miss our rehearsals.