THE 100-strong Winchester Fusion Choir is celebrating its sixth birthday, having started with just four members

On April 12 2013, its musical director, Marie O’Brien, invited only three members to form a choir at the Milner Hall on St Peter Street.

It grew by reputation and word of mouth and moved to the Discovery Centre the same year. By January 2014 it had attracted so many members that it was split into two choirs. It now has over 100 members.

The choir performs an eclectic range of music including songs from musicals, traditional songs from around the world, gospel, classical, folk and modern songs. Songs are performed a cappella or with backing tracks, guitar and even saxophone.

The choir is led by Marie with great enthusiasm and energy. She encourages everyone, boosting confidence in their own abilities in undertaking part singing and engaging in skilful use of harmonies.

More than £40,000 has been raised for a range of local charities. Concerts have been held in churches, village halls, old people’s homes and even in the open air.

A real highlight for Marie last summer was winning a national award, The British Citizen Award (BCA) in recognition of all that she had achieved for the local community and contributions to charity. At the time of the presentation the Patron announced’ She has selflessly undertaken transforming lives through music, making a positive impact in her community with constant determination. She deserves the honour of a BCA medal and initials after her name’

So,earlier this month the whole choir gathered to celebrate with cake, nibbles balloons and a real sense of belonging to a choir that sings for sheer joy, united as friends and contributing to their community with fund raising concerts.

The choir is looking forward to its next concert at St. Stephen’s Church, Oliver’s Battery at 7.30 pm, all proceeds for Winchester Parkinson’s. Information and tickets contact: 01962 809676 or email:

The choir meets every Friday at The Salvation Hall in Parchment Street. Session one takes place between 1.30 and 3.00 pm, and the second between 4 pm. and 5.30 pm.

Tea and coffee is provided between choirs and each session costs £5.50. New members would be welcome and there may be a need to join a waiting list.