Pzazz Singers offer fundraiser for West Sussex hospitals

Pzazz Singers make their first big return to the concert platform post-pandemic with a fun date at Bognor’s Alexandra Theatre on Saturday, August 6 at 7.30pm (alexandratheatre.co.uk).

Pzazz - Nick Ford Photography
Pzazz - Nick Ford Photography

The singers, comprising around 75 per cent employees of University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, will be fundraising for Love Your Hospital, the dedicated NHS charity for St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands Hospitals. The charity supports NHS staff to provide the very best care to patients and their families.

Pzazz Singers co-founder Jan Simmons said: “We started the group in January 2016 and it was promoted at the time by St Richard’s which is now part of the University Hospitals Sussex trust. Partly it was because myself and my other colleagues had a background in singing with choral groups and we wanted to set up something that was much more lively, much more fun and a lot more relaxed. We had really been inspired by various concerts that we had been to given by the Brighton Gay Men's Chorus, and the connection there was with Marc Yarrow who was their musical director at the time.

"We said to him would he fancy coming and doing something with us and we really didn't know where we were going to go with it all at that time.

“We decided we wanted to have a reason for doing what we were doing and so we ran it past various directors at the hospital to see if we could set something up with an affiliation to the hospital in some way. The deal was that whatever we did would be in support of the Love Your Hospital charity and in return the hospital let us have space to rehearse. We promoted it round the hospital and we didn't know what to expect on the first day, thinking maybe half a dozen people would turn up but we had 30 people which was fabulous.”

Since then, because of the pandemic, they have moved to a new permanent home at Goodwood Motor Circuit, but even now around three-quarters of the singers still work for the Trust.

“This is our second big concert at the Regis Centre. The previous one at the Regis Centre was in 2019 and we did a joint concert there with the Brighton Gay Men's Chorus which was amazing. This time it is just us. We've done concerts before in places in Chichester including St Paul’s Church and we have sung in the streets of Chichester at Christmas time."

As for the music: “The singers will perform a new and exciting repertoire of songs from the latest pop sensations to your favourites including Bon Jovi and the mighty Queen. We really do have something for everyone. We wanted to call ourselves a singing group rather than a choir because we wanted to get away from the idea of choral music.

"We do all sorts of pop and rock things. It's really not the serious things at all, I'm afraid! We wanted something that we could focus on without having to have music in front of us. It is all music that we learn off by heart and Marc is still our MD.”