Jo Thorn – Spotlight
I have this most incredible extended family in Fascinating Rhythm. They challenge me, support me and stretch me as an MD and I have never known such genuine friendship from so many in all my time on this planet.
I live just outside of Taunton in Somerset and have been Somerset based pretty much all of my life. My daytime job sees me as the Director of Ups and Downs Southwest, a Down Syndrome support charity; I have worked in the field of Health and Social Care for most of my career although I did originally train and work as a chef. I have always been immersed in the world of Barbershop, with two generations before me, my Mum and Grandparents, there was no escape really. Harmonising with my Grandad at a very early age brings back many happy memories. Singing this style properly since I was 12 years old, I have enjoyed over 40 years of the wonder that is Barbershop and it has certainly shaped the person I am today. My husband Steve also sings and is a member of the amazing Great Western Chorus - we both know how lucky we are to share the same passion and yes, we do frequently sing together! Between my work and singing, there isn't a great deal of time for other interest but I do enjoy drinking gin, UK walking holidays and as of the 2020 lockdown, sewing apparently!
Your Fascinating Rhythm Experience
I joined Fascinating Rhythm as a singing member in about 2007 having had a small break from chorus life. I happened upon them singing at a local event and was immediately struck with their freshness and willingness to push the boundaries of Barbershop. I was very quickly welcomed in and really enjoyed being back with a group of likeminded people. My skills in performance and choreography were put to good use and I enjoyed more and more time in front of the girls and eventually was talked into becoming Assistant MD; having never directed before, this was a huge challenge. A short time after this, the chorus found itself without an MD so I was happy to cover until a new one was found. I then had probably one of the most craziest thoughts in my life, 'why don't I apply?" - the rest they say, is history and I have enjoyed the most exhilarating ride over the last 10 plus years. It's fair to say that we have been learning together but I could not be prouder of the journey we have been on.
What do you enjoy most about Fascinating Rhythm?
As our stapline suggest, being part of Fascinating Rhythm is so much more than singing! Incredible friendships, outstanding team work, camaraderie, support network, the benefits just don't end! We work hard and play hard and make some pretty awesome music on the way. I love seeing how individuals develop as singers and people, I love how we show respect and support to each other and, I love those goosebump moments that having me leaping around like a mad woman.
Share why you think potential members should join Fascinating Rhythm
Whatever standard of singer you are, we are an ensemble like no other - every voice has an important part to play and every person is valued for their contribution.