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Musician

The Hospiscare Choir is currently recruiting for a new Choir Leader / Musical Director to head up our enthusiastic and successful group of around 25 singers. 

We have had a fantastic response to our advert for a new musical director/choir leader, and have narrowed down the applications to a really strong shortlist. We had some very impressive applications, so thank you to everyone who enquired and applied.


The committee is now busy organising some taster sessions for our existing choir members to meet the candidates in the next two months, and we are looking forward to finding out how our applicants work with us to encourage that familiar feel-good feeling and harmonious sound that their predecessors also achieved!


Watch this space for more news, and thank you to everyone who has shared our advert. Thanks too, to everyone in the choir for your patience and understanding while we find the right person to take us forward into another new chapter of the Hospiscare Choir.

A New Dawn with Ellie Williams leading the Choir from September 2023 - March 2024

Ellie has been singing and writing music from a very early age and her musical career began as a singer-songwriter. Having supported such artists on tour as Joan Armatrading, Seth Lakeman, Midge Ure and Suzanne Vega she quickly developed a following and toured over the UK. During this time she has released three studio albums with a fourth currently in production. Following the birth of her son she turned her attention to pop choirs and has been running Sounds Choirs for nearly nine years now. Ellie describes conducting a choir as "getting to play the most amazing musical instrument there is".

Ellie is a proud employee of Hospiscare for whom she has worked for nearly two years in the role of Corporate Officer. In the past Ellie has sung at many fundraisers for the charity, but her focus was brought even closer when her father Mike was diagnosed with brain cancer and spent his last days at Searle House. Ellie stayed with Mike for five days, never leaving him, and was so moved by the incredible care, compassion and experience of the Hospiscare nurses both on the ward and in the community, that when an opportunity to work for the charity presented itself just eight weeks later she embraced it with both hands. She has not looked back.

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At the taster session for its current members, Ellie described that becoming Musical Director of the choir has been a marrying of two passions in her life, Hospiscare and music. She says "the choir are very talented, have a lot of heart and I look forward to helping them grow in confidence and pushing the limits a little more with them. Music is such a powerful tool for physical and mental health and I can’t wait to continue on with the amazing job and choir that Alfie Pugh has so brilliantly created".

Since then, Ellie has led the choir so successfully that we have welcomed many new members and introduced a whole new repertoire of songs.  We spent just over two months practising some carefully chosen songs and performed them at Hospiscare's Light Up a Life service in Padbrooke Park in December 2023 as the revived choir.  The feedback we received was very touching and we knew that, with Ellie at the helm nurturing us and with all of her experience with Hospiscare, that we had developed into something very special indeed.

We raised an amazing amount in our 2023 Christmas raffle in memory of one of our choir member's husbands, and were delighted to present a cheque to Hospiscare for £1,347, as well as sing some Christmas carols and festive tunes in Reception for the patients, visitors and staff at the Hospice just before Christmas.

In March 2024 we sang for Hospiscare's 'Ribbons of Remembrance' event in Princesshay Shopping Centre, Exeter.  However, it is with much sadness that we have had to wave goodbye to our lovely Choir Leader Ellie recently.  Life, as is usually the case, had different plans for her and with a heavy heart she explained that other commitments needed to take priority, which the choir committee supported.


This leaves us with another big pair of shoes to fill, and we are looking for a new Choir Leader to take over (see advert above), but in the meantime, please join us in wishing Ellie the very best for the future (we are sure we haven’t seen the last of her!), and thank you so much for everything you’ve done for and with the choir in the last six months, it’s been wonderful singing with you!

Previous (and Original) Musical Director 2015 - 2023 - Alfie Pugh

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Alfie at leaving concert July 2023.JPG

Alfie Pugh graduated from Bath Spa University in 2012 with a First Class degree in Music. He then returned to his hometown of Exeter, where he has worked as a freelance musician ever since. His roles include piano teacher, composer and arranger, musical director and choir leader, and orchestral/jazz performer. He was the choirmaster for the Hospiscare Choir since its inception in 2015 and has led them in performances in Exeter Cathedral and the Rugby World Cup fan zone, to name just two. He was also the arranger for the choir, and was in charge of selecting repertoire and working it out in such a way that it could be sung by the choir. Alfie's other choirs have included the Exeter College Choral Society, the Michelmores staff choir, and he is the accompanist for Soul Of The City Gospel Choir.

In 2023, Alfie felt that he had taken the Choir as far as he could and also wished to pursue other options in his musical career, so stepped down from the role of Musical Director.  The Choir ensured he had an appropriately joyous send-off with a special concert at the Hospice in Exeter, with past and present members joining us in celebrating his achievements with the Choir over the last 8 years.  Alfie gave a lovely speech, explaining how he started with the Choir as a fresh-out-of-university youngster and has grown up with us.  We have seen him develop his skills over the years (apparently we have been his guinea pigs in many of his musical experiments!) and seen him get married, and we all wish Alfie the very best for the future - it's been a Wonderful World with you!

We held a farewell Finale performance at the hospice to celebrate all the years with Alfie on his last day with us, with past and present members joining us on the night, July 2023

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