The Ross Penyard winter concert, ‘Comfort and Joy’, held last month was a huge success.

The concert brought in a large and appreciative audience at St Mary’s Church in Ross-on-Wye as the group performed music by Vivaldi and Simon and Garfunkel. 

They were led by their musical director, Sammy Martin and accompanied by Simon Peberdy. For the first time, they were joined by the Royal Forest of Dean Ensemble. 

The singers were also joined by Brenda Read-Brown, who is currently poet-in-residence at Gloucester Hospital, working particularly with cancer patients and their families. 

Brenda performed poems that were funny and moving, and that reflected the experiences of people she met in the hospital. 

The proceeds of the raffle held during the course of the evening will be donated to the Ross Cancer Support Group, whose chairman, Paul Baker, gave a short speech about the work of the group. 

Many audience members spoke to members of the choir at the end of the evening to say how moving and uplifting the evening had been.

The audience joined the choir in singing several seasonal carols towards the end of the evening, finishing with a rendition of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas.’

The singers will now begin rehearsals for their spring concert on June 15, with the first full rehearsal taking place on Wednesday, January 31. 

If you have ever wanted to try communal singing, or have thought about going back to it, the group encourages you to join them at St Mary’s Church Hall at 7pm. More information can be found at