2013 saw us adopt a more strategic approach to our appearances, activities and fundraising.

Mark FosterOne of our smartest moves of 2013 has to have been the recruitment of Mark Foster as our Accompanist. Mark is passionate about his role and fitted in perfectly from day one: we are truly fortunate to have such a dedicated team in Clive and Mark.

Over the course of this year we have undertaken 6 performances – for the residents of a care home; at Bolton Hospice, as part of their 'Party In The Park'; a concert for Moor Methodist Church, Horwich; a private function; a return to Asda for some seasonal carolling and by far our most ambitious event to date - our very own concert - 'Jingle Bell Sing-A-Long', in the imposing Victoria Hall, Bolton.

Hoping it wasn't going to be a case of 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread', we took the plunge: it felt like a monumental decision to be making after only 6 months in existence but if cancer teaches you anything it's to seize the day! And so we did!! Saturday 7th December to be exact. The format decided - a festive concert for the whole family to enjoy with tickets made as affordable as possible - we were absolutely blown away when the renowned Besses o' th' Barn Band accepted an invitation to join us: as one of the oldest brass bands in the world, fast approaching their bicentenary in 2018, all the ingredients for a great night's entertainment were coming together. With St Philips Junior Workshop recruited to the line-up we just needed a great compère to keep the whole evening running smoothly: in stepped Dr Kevin Jones MB ChB FRCP MD; a Consultant Chest Physician, stand-up comedian and one of the most in-demand speakers on the after-dinner circuit. We couldn't have asked for better.

Jingle Bell Sing-A-Long 2013

With additional cancer patients and cancer survivors, professionals who treat, care for or support cancer patients and singers from other local Choirs recruited to join us on the stage for the audience participation numbers, we delivered a concert to be proud of: even before the last note had faded the decision had been taken to do it all again next year!

'Jingle Bell Sing-A-Long' was undoubtedly the highlight of our 2013 calendar.

Performances aside, earlier in the year we celebrated our 1st Birthday with a buffet and a cake – no tame candle for us, flaming fireworks spewed forth a cascade of sparkling stars: we appointed a Social Secretary to organize the odd event for members outside of rehearsals: looked at ways in which we could involve members in helping us fundraise including the introduction of a small range of Christmas cards overprinted with our details to help raise our profile in addition to generating income and took on a more identifiable and cohesive appearance with the introduction of logo bearing polo shirts, which are worn with great pride when we're performing; the Choir will always be indebted to Lindsay and her family for their kindness and generosity at a time of such unthinkable personal loss.