A CHOIR in Malvern is bouncing back from the Covid pandemic.

The Malvern Festival Chorus, which has been a prominent feature in the town's cultural calendar for years, is looking forward to being back performing as usual.

The pandemic saw the choir forced to move online, with in-person practice cancelled.

Now though, the choir's gatherings can resume, making it an exciting time for the group.

MFC chairman Dr Kevin Ilsley said: "Since the start of the pandemic we have been very conscious of how important singing is to the wellbeing, both physical and mental, of our members.

"So we were determined to use whatever technology was available to keep the choir meeting and singing together virtually.

"We have been delighted to see more and more familiar faces on a regular basis and to welcome new members.

"The joy of finally being able to come together in-person far outweighs the precautions we felt it was prudent to put in place."

The arrival of the pandemic forced Malvern Festival Chorus to cancel its performance of J S Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Worcester Cathedral just before the first lockdown in March 2020.

This would have been one of the choir's most important events, with the remainder of its centenary season having to be cancelled.

Despite the chaos of the pandemic, the choir was able to stick together using Zoom.

This enabled them to practice remotely and hold coffee mornings, quizzes and other social activities.

Weekly Zoom rehearsals commenced in September 2020 led by musical director Jonathan Brown, Director of Music at Malvern College, and accompanist Penny Vere.

Mr Brown said: "I cannot express how great it is to see the delight on choir members’ faces and to be able to hear the wonderful sound they are producing.

"We’re hoping that our return to in-person rehearsals will also encourage new members to join us."

The choir’s plans for the 2021-22 season include the traditional Carols for All in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospices on December 28 in Great Malvern Priory and a 'Come and Sing' event providing a rare opportunity for people to join the choir with orchestra and soloists in performing the full version of Handel’s Messiah.