Harrowby Singers in Grantham are a ‘big family’ where ‘everybody supports everyone’
In our fourth Behind the Scenes feature, we talk to Alfie Rains, who deals with publicity and social media for Harrowby Singers.
Since 1975, Harrowby Singers Amateur Musical Society has been performing themed concerts and musicals for the people of Grantham.
The group performs one “full scale musical” in March each year, and more recently it has been performing a “concert-style show” in each half of the year.
Members are made up of a “very big age range”, with the oldest member being 94 years old.
“Over the last year, we’ve got a lot of the younger generation joining”, said Alfie.
Alfie describes the group as a “big family”.
He added: “Everyone gets along with everyone and everyone supports everyone.”
During the pandemic, the group were unfortunately unable to perform, but they still did stuff from home.
For example, the group sang their own version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, where each member videoed the whole song and it was edited together as one combined video.
In 2021, when Alfie first joined, the group was able to perform its production of Wind in the Willows, but this was with social distancing and masks in place.
Alfie added: “We were very limited with what we could do during Covid but when we did come back, 99 per cent of our original members did come back.”
Arts Council England says that the arts bring “prosperity - communities together and make life worth living”.
It also says theatres, museums, galleries and libraries are the “beating hearts of our towns and cities”.
To Alfie, he believes by performing shows it “keeps the arts alive”.
He added: “It’s just nice for people to go out and see a show live.
“We [Harrowby Singers] actually got compared to West End-style [for its performance of 9 to 5].
“So it’s nice people think that and pay a fraction of the price as well to watch it.”
For Grantham, Alfie thinks it is “quite hard” to think what more could be offered in the town as there is already so much on offer.
He added: “I know for a fact Harrowby Singers, if we had the opportunity to we would do two full scale musicals every year.
“But there are so many other groups like Grantham Operatics that do a full scale musical and MJH Productions that does one a year.
“So there’s so many groups, but I still feel like there could be more.
“There is a good offering [in Grantham] but the more we can have, the better.”
A more recent venture established by the group is an all-female singing group called the Leading Ladies.
Alfie added: “It’s quite a new thing, but people can hire out the Leading Ladies for weddings, and care homes.
“They’ve done gigs at Harlaxton Manor and Belton Woods so we’ve done quite a lot over the last year. It’s been quite busy.”
Looking to the future of Harrowby Singers, Alfie hopes it continues its success and grows on it.
He said: “It would be great to get as many people onboard for the audience and people joining the society.
“Obviously it is too late to join now for the current show, but ongoing shows we’ll be happy to take on as many as possible.
“The more we get, the more shows we can put on which means more chances for people to go see shows.”
Anyone who is interested in getting involved with the Harrowby Singers can find out more at harrowbysingers.com/.
Get in touch with the group by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.