Ilkeston singer plays part in BBC choir win

John Puxty from Ilkeston with choirmaster Gareth Malone. John was part of the winning Severn Trent choir on BBC Two show Sing While You Work.
John Puxty from Ilkeston with choirmaster Gareth Malone. John was part of the winning Severn Trent choir on BBC Two show Sing While You Work.

An Ilkeston singer hit all the right notes this week when his choir took the top prize in a BBC competition.

Sing While You Work was the latest show hosted by choirmaster Gareth Malone as he set up choirs at workplaces around the country to do battle.

John Puxty beat off competition from 200 other colleagues from Severn Trent to secure a place in the firm’s 30-strong choir, which this week took top spot in the grand final held in Wales.

The 63-year-old from Shipley View described the feeling when they were announced as the winners.

“When we won it was marvellous,” he said. “I think I nearly fell off the stage! We had hopedfor it but when it happened it felt absolutely terrific.”

The lay reader at St Mary’s Church has performed with choirs throughout his life, but said he was looking forward to continuing singing with the Severn Trent choir as they prepare for their first public appearance at Christmas.

He added: “We were all individual singers and it was very exciting to hear this music coming out as we learnt to all sing together.

“We are a very mixed group but we have become great friends. I didn’t know any of the other people in the choir at the start of this process but they are now some of my closest friends through the experience of doing this.”

John moved to Ilkeston 12 years ago to be with his wife Sylvia.

The choir clinched the title with their rendition of Feeling Good, which was made famous by Nina Simone. The final show was broadcast on BBC Two on Thursday evening.