FIRST she taught the county to sing, now she’s showing the world just what the county’s singers can do.

And judging by last year’s European Choir Games, it appears quite a lot.

In fact 2017 was a pretty special year for Sandra Colston and Funky Voices, which not only celebrated its tenth anniversary but also picked up a silver medal at the Games which was held in Riga.

“It’s basically the Olympic Games for choirs,” she smiles, “and although it’s called the European Choir Games, you get groups from all over the world like China, Brazil and the USA. There was more than a hundred choirs from about 50 countries and roughly about 10,000 people in all. It’s a pretty big deal and to be effectively carrying the flag for Britain was a huge honour for us.

“We did a 15 minute medley of songs from Chicago and Supertramp, as you do, and they absolutely loved it. I was so proud of our group because although it was a bit of a holiday as well, they worked so hard to sing for their country. There was a lot of pride there and it really showed. They really gave it their all.

“I think the nicest thing the judges said of us was we brought the party to Riga. Getting the silver medal was pretty special too.”

And it’s experiences like that which still makes Funky Voices one of the most popular groups in the country.

Sandra has built-up Funky Voices to a membership of more than 800 people with groups all over the county from Colchester to Southend, and further afield, singing in places such as the Barbican in London with G4 and Times Square in New York.

Last year they were awarded a distinction at Chelmsford Music Festival’s competition.

“Funky Voices has always been about the music, first and foremost,” Sandra says. “Getting people to sing who think they can’t but since we’ve been going it has grown to include friendship and camaraderie. Some people have had a lot to deal with in their lives and Funky Voices has been their escape from that.”

Anyone interested in joining, or for more information on the group, go to