HAMPSHIRE's newest choir has got off to a flying start, with two "come and sing" sample sessions packed with would-be singers.

Winchester Community Choir is responding to this big demand with two further "taster" workshops, open to all-comers, to complement the music-making already happening in the city. Its distinctive approach is designed to encourage everyone to join in, with no auditions, no solos and no pressure.

The group welcomes all who enjoy singing, whatever their experience, or level of confidence. Workshop leader, Sarah Morgan, who is appearing with Craig Morgan Robson at the Winchester Folk Festival this weekend, teaches songs by ear, so there is no need to be able to read music.

The choir sings a range of songs, including traditional, gospel and folk music from all over the world, and Sarah's methods and enthusiastic encouragement get great results, with the participants frequently amazing themselves by swiftly learning songs in rounds and four-part harmonies.

Coordinator, Jean Forster, said: "Winchester has some wonderful choirs, and the response we've had shows there's a need for another one with a different approach.

"We tested the water with two workshops and were delighted by the response and the number of people who signed up to join the choir.

"This new group will celebrate inclusion and give everyone the opportunity to come along and sing their hearts out. New members are being actively sought and you'll never need to audition!"

Regular weekly sessions will begin in the autumn, and anyone interested in joining can contact Jean Forster, on 01962 850482. Before then, the choir has two more "taster sessions" - on Saturday, June 4, in Henry Beaufort School Concert Hall, and on Saturday, July 2, at the same venue, both 2-4pm.