Members of the Watford Palace Theatre Community Choir performed concerts at the end of July in two venues close to the town of Pamiers in the Ariège region of southern France, to enthusiastic audiences.

The programme comprised a variety of music from films, musicals, traditional folk songs, spirituals, pop and classical, sung in three- or four-part harmony. Most of the songs had been arranged by Steve Merrony, the choir leader. Three songs were sung in French, including the Cantique de Jean Racine by the composer Gabriel Fauré, who was born and had lived in Pamiers, where the choir stayed.

The organisers in both venues invited them to return next year and local people said how much they had enjoyed it. Choir members were overwhelmed by the response and are very excited about the possibilities of doing further tours in France.

Pat Baxter, a long standing member of the choir, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for us. We were thrilled to receive such a welcome from the local people and for our music to be so greatly appreciated. We hope to perform in many other places in the future.”

Judy Renshaw, a fairly new member of the choir added: “It was a fantastic experience to be part of this tour and to sing to such enthusiastic audiences. The choir members have been so welcoming and helpful; they are a very friendly group.”

The Watford Palace Theatre Community Choir is looking for new members for next term, which starts on 20 September. It meets every Wednesday at 7.30 pm in term time, is fully accessible to all and does not involve auditions.

Anyone who would like to consider joining can try a taster session before committing themselves. Contact the Participation Team for further details via