In June 2010, a local musician called Chris Higgins wanted to create the first Rock/Contemporary Choir in Cyprus. An advert was placed in the Paphos Post and at the first meeting at Mesogi Community Centre 80+ people turned up. The very first song we learned that day was Façade from the musical Jekyll and Hyde.
Unfortunately, due to health problems Chris had to leave before Christmas. We were left in a bit of flux, until Steve Gray, an existing member of the group took over as MD. Under Steve Gray the Paphos Zingers had their first public performance in May 2011. This was at Angelika’s Tavern in Paphos for the Samaritan’s Fair. Steve moved the group onwards and upwards for the next 8 months when he too had to return to the UK.
Then the role of MD was taken on by Ali Harding with the help of vocal coach Mel Ballard. Together they have moulded the group into its current form. Zingers returned to their Rock Choir roots and their repertoire now ranges from the 1950s to present day. They have covered swing, jazz, Motown, rock, pop, musicals and everything in between. Some numbers include varied amounts of choreography (nothing too extravagant though!!). We have gone on to perform at a variety of small and large venues, throughout the Paphos and Limassol area, as well as putting on many full shows of their own.Their reputation as a quality act has grown in strength with each performance given.
Ali left to return to the UK in October 2014, (there is a pattern here, hopefully being broken now!)
Mel took over as MD and raised the bar for them. Unfortunately due to Mel’s work commitments, they were once again left without a MD, but only for a week.
Zingers secured the talents of Kaela Santosh, who took the Zingers outside their comfort zone which gave them a new confidence. Again due to personal circumstances Zingers were looking for their next MD.
Where we are now
They are now delighted to have promoted from within the group. Rose Taylor, who has actually been a Zinger member for 6 years now takes them forward into their next chapter. This was an ideal move as Rose already knows all the members, is wonderfully musically talented in her own right. She knows the best way for the group to learn the many new songs that they have planned for this coming year.
What we do
The main motivator of the group is to fund raise for charity whilst sharing their love of singing. One of the many positive comments they receive is how much their enjoyment of what they do, comes out in their performances.
They are a friendly and extremely welcoming group. Some have been known to say they are like a big family. Many members of the group like to socialize after rehearsals and they organize social events throughout the year. There is no age limit. They have had members ranging from the age of 14 to “it’s only a number!!”. Their group is currently 35+ strong with a varied group of people from all walks of society and anyone is welcome. All you need to have is a love for singing, ability to hold a tune and a wish to share that joy with others.
They rent Marathounda Community Hall to rehearse and have been able to upgrade their equipment as all Zingers pay for the privilege in the form of a joining fee and monthly subs. They finance their own wardrobe and travel expenses to optimise their fundraising.
In the beginning, they raised funds for whoever asked them, but in January 2012 they decided to chose a charity for a year for whom they would raise both funds and awareness. They chose Cancer Patients Support Group. At this point, there was little awareness about this wonderful charity and many members were also unaware of their existence. There started a long-term relationship which has blossomed into greater awareness for both parties.
The Zingers are a democratic group and vote each year to see who they will be financially supporting. Since 2012 the votes keep coming out in a unanimous decision to continue supporting this great charity. Since then many Zingers have had the sad occasion to use CPSG and it has become close to many members’ hearts.
To date as this is written, they have raised over €70,000 for CPSG and other charities.
The Zinger family
Many Zingers have had to overcome their own illnesses and tragedies. However, the one thing that unites them is their passion for singing, it becomes their oxygen. When you see a performance, you would never know what is going on in their private lives. Some have even performed while undergoing chemo and one member only came out of hospital on the morning of one performance. They have become a dedicated team who help each other, like a close-knit family.
In 2019 they hope to build upon the strong foundations set in place. This will ensure that PAPHOS ZINGERS continues to achieve its full potential. They will be setting themselves future goals and challenges to stretch their imagination as a Choir, whilst ensuring they continue to emanate their love and joy of music through singing and performing.
They strive to keep up to date as their repertoire must expand to meet the needs of a supportive audience. With the help of Rose, who writes, rewrites and arranges the harmonies in their songs, they keep fresh and always have new songs to sing. However, they don’t forget their audiences’ favourites.
Many people say they are AmaZing!