'Canzonetta' means 'little song' and we thought it was just right for a group presenting concerts of songs traversing the centuries and styles. Canzonetta was established in 2004 when Jackie and founder member Lynda Price spied a gap in the musical calendar for a ladies' close harmony group on the Isle of Purbeck. They looked around for suitable singers and invited them to come along. Canzonetta celebrated its 10th birthday in 2014, by which time it had sung in seventy concerts and raised over twelve thousand pounds for a variety of church roofs, belfries, bells and a new loo (!) as well as the NSPCC, Swanage Hospital, Lewis-Manning Hospice and more. Our sopranos and altos from across East Dorset love to get together to sing our brand of vocal harmony and we continue to raise money for Dorset Churches and local good causes.
Isabelle Butler accompanist
Barbara Rawlings 2nd soprano. I joined Canzonetta in the summer of 2017, having sung in various choirs in Dorset, Sussex and in France. A retired modern languages teacher, I now fill some of my days with volunteering, as an instructor and fundraiser for a Riding for the Disabled group and in the Oxfam bookshop in Dorchester. I love reading, fair-weather gardening and eating out! I have two (very) grown up sons and a wonderful five year old grandson who I love spending time with.
Miriam Fagan 1st soprano. I joined Canzonetta in 2007. Before that I sang for several years with Concordia, a girls choir in Jersey. I am married to Nick and we have two children, Harry and Emma, both at University in Oxford. A teacher in Poole, I work as a Curriculum Enrichment leader. My hobbies include yoga, dancing and dog walking and I am proud to have taken part in the London Marathon. I love living in Dorset and I couldn't live without singing or being near the sea! (Miriam is Canzonetta's Concert Manager).
Mary Chamberlain 2nd soprano. I have enjoyed singing for as long as I can remember and my first choir experience was at school. I have sung in large choirs such as London Philharmonia Chorus as well as small chamber choirs. In my younger years I also sang in bands including an international group in Mozambique and a Country and Western Band in London. Since moving to Dorset in 2001 I have sung with Briantspuddle Singers and the Dorset Occasional Singers. Most recently I joined Canzonetta in 2015. I have a particular fondness for early and baroque music but also love being able to try out a range of new songs.
Jacqueline March musical director
Marion Bishop 1st soprano. Marion started singing in the choir at school encouraged by her parents, who both sang. Later she joined a local choir, and explored singing in small groups. Marion joined Canzonetta in 2016. She is a member of the choir at St Peter's Dorchester, where her son, William, also sings. Marion has sung in many concerts in Dorset, most recently in a fundraising evening at Puddletown Parish Church in 2016. She enjoys walking her dog and spending time ferrying her son to singing lessons and band practice! Marion works at Dorchester Hospital.
Isabelle trained in Birmingham and after winning Concerto trials went on to play at Birmingham Town Hall, Aston University, Vienna on a music exchange and to broadcast on the radio. Isabelle taught music in Leicester and Birmingham schools and subsequently became a peripatetic string teacher working with schools and orchestras. Since moving to Swanage and for many years Isabelle was accompanist to Purbeck Arts Choir and Musical Director of Swanage Operatic Society, now Swanage Musical Theatre. Isabelle also accompanies the Belvedere Singers in Swanage.
Jackie began singing at an early age, taking leading G&S roles on the stage of the Dome, Brighton then, in her teens, she joined Hove Girls Choir and a life-long passion for vocal harmony began. Gaining her LRAM she went on to a career in opera, singing some of the well-loved lyric soprano roles. Opera concerts, recitals and oratorio ran alongside twenty five years teaching singing in private practice and schools in Sussex. Highlights include duetting with Stuart Burrows and singing the role of 'Liu' to Pauline Tinsley's 'Turandot'. In 1989 she set up and directed BellaVoce, a Brighton-based ladies' ensemble and in 1996, Hove Voices girls choir. Moving to Dorset in 2002 Jackie continues teaching, especially directing her work towards assisting the older voice. Canzonetta was established in 2004 and she directed Wimborne Voices from 2009 to 2018. Jackie's passion for voices in harmony and the extraordinary beauty of the human voice is undiminished!
Hilary Jordan Alto. Hilary started singing in choirs at the age of eight when she was the first girl allowed to join the boy trebles on the front row of her church choir and was able to sing in cathedrals across the country on choir holidays. She joined Canzonetta in 2005 - not quite a founder member, but almost! She also sings in Wareham Choral Society and occasionally with Nota Bene Singers, including tours to France in 2010 and 2012. Hilary works in planning for three district councils in Dorset, and as well as singing enjoys hillwalking, birdwatching, gardening, yoga and going to the gym.
Eve Baker 2nd soprano. Eve joined Canzonetta in October 2017 and very much enjoyed her first season. She has been singing and performing since schooldays. Eve has previously sung with Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and currently sings with Wareham Choral Society. She enjoys playing roles on stage with the d'Urberville Amateur Dramatic Society and she is accompanist for the Rex Players' variety shows. When not singing and playing Eve's hobbies include walking in the Purbeck landscape and she works for Nordic Walking UK. She is married to Mike and they have twins, Robert and Zoe.
Sarah Welton Alto. I was a founder member of Canzonetta and am still singing! Can it really be fifteen years?! I sing in various choirs, including the church choir of St. John the Baptist, Bere Regis, where I am Churchwarden. I love the contrast of singing with a small group like Canzonetta but also performing large choral works with the Dorset Guild of Singers. I often sing Tenor, so the low alto notes of Canzonetta songs are no problem!