MEMBERS of the Sauchie Community Group Choir held their first face-to-face session for more than a year last Wednesday night.

The choir had been making do with practices held via online video app Zoom, while restrictions remained in place.

Craig Miller, the group's co-community manager and choirmaster, soaked up the excitement among members as the group sat socially distanced at the resource centre

He told the Advertiser: "We were positioned just across from the Mansfield Arms so people were walking back and forwards.

"We got some applause and an audience for our singing which was nice."

Original choir member, Maggie Brookes spoke of the difference she felt being back in person with her fellow members.

She said: "It was just overwhelmingly exciting because although we've done choir over lockdown online, there's just nothing like being with everybody and hearing everybody else's vocals – it's the human contact."

"Singing raises people's spirits," Maggie continued. "To actually be there and see everybody again was a leap forward for everything and, hopefully, this will be us back on track again."

After moving online in March of 2020, Craig faced a lot of difficulties with conducting his choir using technology.

He added: "A lot of the time it was just karaoke with myself as everyone else went on mute and sang along with me."

The choir that was originally organised by Craig and Maggie just over five years ago as a singing project for Christmas carols.

Since then, however, they have formed a dedicated group that regularly performs around Clackmannanshire and further afield.

"They've improved dramatically over the last five years," Craig added. "We're looking forward to getting on with some concerts and we've already signed up to sing at a couple of things, as well as our annual Christmas concert."

Both are eager to recruit new members and faces, describing the choir as a relaxed, friendly and welcoming environment where everyone should come and have a go.