RAF Benson wives to perform at Albert Hall

Three RAF Benson military wives are set to form part of a special proms choir on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

(From left to right) Jo Williams, Gareth Malone, Rebecca Hendry and Joanna Hoskin

(From left to right) Jo Williams, Gareth Malone, Rebecca Hendry and Joanna Hoskin

Joanna Hoskin, Rebecca Hendry and Jo Williams of the RAF Benson Military Wives Choir will join a 100-strong ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall.

Celebrity choirmaster Gareth Malone will lead the Proms Military Wives Choir, which is made up of women from 42 different groups across the country.

Joanna, 32, Rebecca, 34, and Jo, 35, and the rest of the choir, will also be joined by life-size puppets from Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’ production.

“We are all delighted to be performing in the Proms Military Wives Choir and honoured to be part of this very special event,” said Joanna.

“It’s really appropriate that the concert will also remember the role that women and music played during the First World War.

“We have all worked incredibly hard to learn some very challenging music and to make sure we do it justice when we perform at the Royal Albert Hall, representing all the other ladies from Benson.”

The trio beat off tough competition from women across the country to be a part of the choir and will feature in a BBC documentary about the concert later this year.

Joanna, who moved to RAF Benson from Cornwall in January 2013, said being part of a choir makes being a military wife easier.

She added: “Just having those two hours each week to be ourselves and sit amongst like minded people is invaluable.

“If people are upset or having a bad day, everyone understands because we all know what it’s like to be in each others shoes.”

She continued: “As we tend to move around a lot, knowing there will be another choir to go to makes life easier.

“When I first moved to Benson from Cornwall I couldn’t wait to join the choir, and as soon as I walked in I immediately felt at home and amongst friends.”

The choirs featuring in the concert are a part of the Military Wives Choirs Foundation – a network of 75 groups.

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