About Us

About: Everybody Lets Sing

Everybody Lets Sing (ELS) aims to develop and maintain public awareness and enjoyment of live music, through singing activity and performance. We also aim to benefit the health and well-being of participants and contribute to the vibrancy of the local community.

ELS became a charity in 2012. Our main activity is Alvechurch Community Choir, which was founded in 2009 by Mike Genders and Lillian Boutte. The Community Choir works in the local community, performing at local events and collaborating with other choirs and musicians. Smaller groups from the choir also work in community settings, such as care homes.

We are an inclusive organisation, as our name suggests, set up in the belief that everybody can sing and can benefit themselves and their community by singing. Anyone can join and take part, regardless of ability.

We run regular rehearsals, singalong sessions and occasional workshops, and prepare for performances to local communities.

The choir is led by Mike Genders and Laurence Sharman and managed by a committee. ELS has a small board of trustees.

Founder: Lillian Boutte'

Although Lillian is now retired from performance work, she was a primary driving force in founding ELS, working with children and creating a unique ethos! Known as The Musical Ambassador of New Orleans, Lillian captured the hearts and ears of listeners from the Mississippi Delta to Bondi Beach performing her special brand of R&B, Jazz and Gospel. She started that work right here with us! YOU can help her move it on.

Mike Genders

Mike Genders, a founder of ACC along with Lillian Boutte, was the original Musical Director. He now shares this role with Laurence Sharman.

Laurence Sharman

Laurence Sharman is joint Musical Director with Mike Genders. Laurence has been involved with the choir for the last 5 years and has developed a unique and professional style in leading sessions and developing choral arrangements

Together they choose the songs with the help of members and prepare arrangements, developing our repertoire. They take turns to lead our sessions, sometimes leading us together, with the help of Dave Perryman our accompanying guitarist.

Sarah Batstone : Trustee Chair and Committee Member

I've been an enthusiastic supporter of ELS since becoming Chair and really enjoy supporting the work of Alvechurch Community Choir. It's a great pleasure to see the enjoyment of everyone's faces when they're singing.

Linda Helmore : Trustee Treasurer and Committee Member

"I've been Treasurer of ELS and Alvechurch Community Choir since 2017 having joined the choir because I enjoy singing. It's always a positive and therapeutic experience. It's great to support such a vibrant and supportive community activity and seeing the difference it makes in people's lives".

Mary Green : Trustee Secretary and Committee Member

"I am retired, and was a founder-member of the Alvechurch Community Choir. I helped to secure charitable status for ELS and am now a trustee and act as its secretary. I love singing, and am delighted to be with such a varied and enthusiastic group of people. I support the inclusive emphasis of ELS, and believe participation in music is of great benefit to everyone."

Holly Timmermans: Trustee and Committee Member

"I've been a member of ACC since it began. Singing with ACC is a well rounded activity that can be fun and moving, build good community links and foster enduring friendships. My day job is balancing energy as an Acupuncturist and Zero Balancer. Being a trustee is a way of giving back to a great little charity and helping it move forward to offer the possibility of singing to more people and open up to new audiences."

Gordon Parsons : Trustee and Committee Member

“I have been an Alvechurch Community Choirboy since the days when the choir met in the school hall. As a possessor of shattered lungs, I find the vocal exercise therapeutic as well as the gatherings being socially supportive". I'm fortunate in retirement to be able to attend regularly.

Lesley Spence : Committee Member

"I joined the choir in 2016 and have found it to be a very welcoming and inclusive group of people who really enjoy singing together. I am retired and pleased to be able to help support the choir by becoming a committee member. The pleasure that comes from singing with a group of enthusiastic people is truly good for the soul"!

Alison Jones : Committee Member

"I grew up in Wales and sang in many choirs until I left in 1980. I've now returned to my singing roots and enjoy being part of the Alvechurch Community Choir. As ever, we may not have great voices individually, but as a group, we can create a great sound. We work to produce a set of regular songs and I collate and circulate the songs in the versions we sing them in”

Jacky Kearsey : Committee Member

"Being Welsh, singing is very much part of my "soul" and I know it makes people happy. I joined Alvechurch Community Choir after hearing about their wonderful first workshop with Lillian. Now that I have moved from Barnt Green to Alvechurch, I thought I should be more involved, join the committee and take part in the community. I have made so many friends through the choir and various other activities in the village."

Pat Riley : Committee Member

"Previously an "Essex Girl," I retired with my husband to Alvechurch in 2000 to be closer to our family and have never regretted it. I love the area and people especially those I have met through the choir, which I joined at the start. I love to sing and feel any music can lift spirits and smooth many hurdles."

Terry Miller : Committee Member

"I joined the Alvechurch Community Choir when I retired in 2010. It is great to be a member of an enthusiastic and friendly group of folk who meet regularly to share and enjoy the pleasure of singing. I am keen to promote the Choir within the local Community and to encourage its fundamental message that "Everybody can sing"!"

Daphne Cross : Committee Member

"I joined the choir as I enjoy singing, although I'm not a great singer, the choir has given me the confidence to sing in a group in public".