BLACK Country choir Viva Musica is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The idea for the choir was born in September 1988 when Dudley Arts Council asked Rosemary Phillips, musical director of Viva Musica, to direct a choir of operatic society singers.

After a successful concert - it was decided to form a permanent choir in January 1989.

The first rehearsal took place on April 18, 1989, for the first concert on July 15 at Graingers Lane Methodist Church and since then the choir hasn't looked back.

It has since staged concerts throughout the year - supporting charities along the way.

Performances have included The Messiah, Carmen, Beethoven's 9th, Faure’s Requiem and the choir has performed at Birmingham Town and Symphony Hall, Worcester Cathedral and throughout the Midlands with artists such as Alfie Boe, Wynne Evans and the Band of the RAF College.

In May 1997 members performed in Germany and then Belgium two years later.

The choir has a wide ranging repertoire - operatic, classical, Broadway and modern music - and as well as concerts it hosts an array of social events throughout the year.

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Anyone interested in joining is invited to attend an open evening starting at 7.15pm on Tuesday September 17 at Ham Dingle Primary School, Stourbridge.

The choir will also be celebrating 30 years of singing at its next concert Let the People Sing on Saturday October 19 at 7pm at St Marys Church, Oldswinford.

The event, starting at 7pm, will see members singing favourite pieces from the last 30 years.