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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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I was absolutely glued to the TV series The Choir - Military Wives, as an ex military wife and music fan.
Choirmaster Gareth Malone moved down to a military base in Devon to live amongst a community where a large proportion of the men were about to be sent to Afghanistan, with the idea of setting up a choir for those left behind.
As with all his ventures, Gareth really wasn't sure if the choir would take off at first, but approached his task with zeal and enthusiasm.
In contrast to some of the other choirs Gareth has put together, from the very start it was clear that the wives were really behind the venture.

The experience of having something to take them away from the worries surrounding them whilst their husbands were away was warmly welcomed. Gareth was clever in introducing them to choral singing via Bob Dylan's lovely 'Make You Feel My Love' which was familiar to them ... and then he really stretched them. More complex pieces followed including a version of I Wanna Dance With Somebody with incredibly difficult harmonies and performances in the local community. Gareth had the massive challenge of running two choirs that were to come together to sing as one, one based at Chivenor and the other at Plymouth. What a task...

It certainly wasn't all plain sailing but with vast practice things started to come together - and sound REALLY good.
One of the fascinating 'sub-plots' was the question of who would be the soloist for the projected piece to be sung at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. Before the last episode, the Festival was televised and I was delighted to hear the gorgeous voice of Samantha Stevenson ring out with the opening chords of 'Wherever You Are'. Though it was a close call, Sam was the right woman for the job, as an experienced chorister with a fantastic talent.

Even though I 'knew the ending' the last episode was wonderful - with all the Chivenor husbands safely returned and a behind the scenes look at the Albert Hall performance.
To see how Sam gathered her courage to audition and perform, then master the very challenging solo was incredibly moving. I hope that circumstances grant her the chance to develop her undoubted gifts.
If you missed the story when first shown this DVD will be a great chance to catch up, to further your admiration of these incredible women and to get an insight into what it is to be a 'wife of'. Well done to the producers for getting as much of the full story as they could.
Equally importantly, this will further your admiration of Gareth Malone and his wonderful gift of inspiring the best in others, through the medium of music.
In times like these we need all the heart-warming real-life stories we can get, and this is one of the best.

The DVD release date is a little way off so in the meantime I've pre-ordered the CD of the Choir's lovely Wherever You Are -I hope you have too - and that should keep me going.
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on 3 December 2011
superb, I have purchased 5, they deserve to be supported by all of the country for what they are doing for both the RBL and SSAFA.
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on 15 January 2012
Top marks to Gareth Malone. His love of music and natural talent has achieved extraordinary results in the choirs he has created. The most recent..the Military Wives Choir is one of the most inspiring and moving musical experiences ever. So impressed am I with this lovely talented man that I seriously feel he deserves a knighthood not only for his contribution to music but for the joy he has given both to the members of the various choirs and the t.v. viewing public. Well done Gareth your a star
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on 26 February 2012
I am not a singer and have never been in a choir but since my daughter's fiance was in Afghanistan I thought I would watch this series. I was immediately enthralled in the wives lives and their interest in joining a choir to support their husbands and partners and pass the time while the men were away. Of course the choir soon became a big part of their lives and the singing just got better and better. Sam Stevenson stood out as a courageous young woman on many fronts who had an amazing voice and made the series for me . Definitely the dvd of the year and I hope it raises lots of money for the chosen forces charities.
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on 12 February 2012
Gareth Malone achieved a formidable challenge. This is the best of the series until now. Not only he shares his love for music, he also does wonders for the community sense of a lot of people. I had to watch this series with a handkerchief in my hand; so human, so emotional, so gripping. I am looking forward to the next series. And, yes, I agree with `songbird': I hope to see him soon on the Honours List.
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on 17 April 2012
Watched the show when it was on TV but missed a week. Bought the DVD so I could see the whole series and was not disappointed! It was great to also see the ladies once again at the Royal Albert Hall, Festival of Remembrance, and to hear their fantastic number one single 'Wherever You Are' sung live. It was also lovely to see the picture gallery and the Gareth Malone biography, little extras that make it even more special! I found this series with Gareth Malone particularly heartwarming, as having a nephew currently out in Afghanistan I know how difficult it is for his wife while he is away. She opted to move back with her family while he was on his tour, a brave move to make, but she does miss the comraderie that exists between the wives, which was evident throughout the series. Well worth buying too, as it is supporting SSAFA Forces Help and The Royal British Legion! Well done to all the ladies, an inspirational DVD that really makes you realise how lucky you are!
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on 12 February 2012
This series was somewhat different from the three previous series since there didn't seem to be any reluctance on anyone's
part to join the choir. The Wives seem to live in a community where everyone is roughly the same age, live in the same
sort of housing and whose children attend the same school. They seem to be cut off from the real world and must therefore
feel more keenly the absence of husbands when they are away. With this in mind it seems that right from the start the
attendances were kept up and either a lot was cut or they were a tuneful bunch who got it right nearly from the first.
We were constantly aware the husbands were away which made the singing more poignant. Although I really enjoyed this series
I did prefer the Albert Hall debut in Series 2 Boys Don't Sing where the choir members totally out of their usual comfort
zone, had their chance.
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on 27 February 2012
What a wonderful product, and well deserved praise to all concerned in the making. I would happily recommend to anyone, and Gareth deserves a knighthood !!!
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on 15 July 2013
I watched this first in parts on youtube, I cried, laughed and watched all the episodes within 24 hours, sent for the DVD as I knew I would watch it over and over again, and I have. We are all so separate from each other these days, community is a thing of the past and what gareth has shown us is how important it is to come together for the greater good and also the healing power of singing. I think he is one of the most inspirational people I have ever seen and I couldn't recommend this series highly enough, keep up the good work. Army and all services wives have a huge and important role in keeping the home fires burning for men away fighting in far flung places, I can't believe the wonderful ripple effect through the services that has happened as more and more services choirs are born. Truly inspirational Gareth, you are amazing xxx
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on 8 June 2014
Gareth Malone is inspiring..As a choral singer myself I know how hard it can be to inspire choirs. My wife sings and also leads a school choir and a church choir, and is so hard-working! It's a joy to join in and make the effort to learn new music as well as re-visit the old favourites!

Taking on a choir of 'military wives' was a brave act. And my goodness, how they appreciated the opportunity to do something a little different and to meet other wives in the same situation! Well done, everyone!

I hope they continue and that they will spread the good news about choral singing.
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