Bringing music from around the world to the heart of Derbyshire

The Fishpond Choir has been singing its collective heart out and delighting audiences since 2001.

The brainchild of the co-owners of the Fishpond pub in Matlock Bath, it is a mixed gender performance choir that is open to all. Members are not required to audition. All they need to possess is a love of singing.

In the early days the choir had a number of different leaders and performed when and where it could, including, memorably, a performance outside the public toilets in Matlock Bath during the illuminations.

The Fishpond choir performing

But the choir really took off in early 2002 when Dana and Anne de Waal, who had recently arrived in the UK from their native South Africa, took over as musical director and accompanist respectively. From that point the choir became more focussed, more polished, and developed much higher aspirations!

When Anne stood down, having played a major part in the choir’s development, multi-talented musician and composer Adam Howell took over the role.

The choir, which has around 80 members, sings an eclectic mix of music from around the world in various languages, including popular songs, light classical pieces and music written and arranged by Dana and other choir members. Dana also has a superb voice and doubles up as tenor soloist for some of the choir’s best loved numbers.

The choir particularly delights in replicating the rhythms and harmonies of Africa, with songs collected from the southern part of the continent and adapted by Dana.

Always in demand, the Fishponders have performed in cathedrals, concert halls, stately homes and village halls all over England, but particularly in the East Midlands. They have also sung in France and on one memorable occasion, at the Royal Albert Hall.

All requests for concerts are considered and the choir is open to bookings for at least two charity performances per year in aid of local and national causes.

"The Fishpond choir are a delight . They have performed at least twice  in Crich to raise funds for CHIKS ,a local charity supporting orphaned children in west Kenya . They bring energy ,vitality and joy to their music as well as drawing big crowds . Their concerts contain a wide ranging repertoire from Africa ,the Caribbean ,Italy ,Wales and many other countries and they can sing in the languages of these countries! Don’t miss their performances "

Deirdre Offord