When Pat Storey and her husband Jack retired to Seahouses from Leicestershire, they brought with them a wealth of experience in making music. Pat was a distinguished soloist and choir leader and Jack had tremendous organising ability. When the Fishermen's Choir ended Pat was asked if she would be willing to be the musical director of a mixed choir. She readily agreed and, together with Jack, set about getting grants and organising a constitution and all the many necessary things to begin Village Voices. The choir began in 2004.
Our first performance was at a local wedding and our first concert in Seahouses Methodist Church in 2004. Since its foundation, Pat has been an inspiration to the choir. Her deep musical knowledge and her constant refusal to accept second best has meant that the choir has progressed both musically and in its ambitions in the ensuing years. The choir has performed throughout North Northumberland and sang for Prince Charles during his visit to the Northumberland Coast in 2012. The repertoire has always been traditional, but the choir has been ambitious enough under Pat's leadership to tackle successfully such modern pieces as Les Misérables.
The practices on Thursday nights are always enjoyable and interesting experiences. Pat is always acutely aware of the effect that a choir has on its audience, and smiles, looking at the listeners, singing out and not looking down at our music are always the order of the day. The wonderful thing about Pat is that she practises what she preaches, and no matter what she feels inside always has a ready smile and a positive outlook.
Under Pat's leadership the choir has made enormous progress. She believes in the members of the choir and sometimes if they are downhearted or think that something is too difficult to sing, Pat always has the confidence that they can do it. Over the time she has been musical director Pat has had some very difficult times. Jack is no longer with us and is sorely missed. However, throughout her time Pat has always been bright and life-affirming and has put the needs of the choir and of our audiences first. When Pat retires we will miss her very much and I suspect she will miss us, but Village Voices will always be grateful for an excellent job well done. Under her leadership the choir has made enormous progress. We could not have done it without you Pat!