A newly-formed choir made up of Devon Young Farmers have recently performed for the Archbishop of Canterbury at Holsworthy Market, as well as ‘An Audience with Kaleb Cooper’ at Exeter Racecourse.

As the Devon Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) County Chairman, Dan Grist wanted to bring young farmers from all over the county together to create a Devon Young Farmers County Choir.

Choir singers with the Archbishop of Canterbury (Devon YFC)

They currently have 36 young farmers in the choir, made up of members from all corners of the county, from Kingsbridge in the south to Braunton in the north.

Dan says: 'The choir epitomises what Devon YFC is all about - bringing rural young people together, socialising, whilst also learning new skills and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

'I’ve gained so much from taking part in the young farmers performing arts programme in the past, so I wanted to create something that would bring young farmers together from all over the county.

(Devon YFC)

'We were given the push we needed to create the choir when we were invited to sing at a Harvest Service at Holsworthy Market, which featured the Archbishop of Canterbury! It was a surreal feeling seeing the choir sing in the middle of the dairy ring at Holsworthy Market, with an absolutely packed crowd.'

The choir received lots of great feedback following their debut performance, which included praise from the Archbishop himself.

In a letter to the choir following the service, he wrote: 'As you know there is something about a large group of people raising their voices together in voices in song which does us all good.

'What a great thing you have done in a short time – to be able to sing like that was brilliant. I encourage you to keep opening up space for younger members of your communities to find a voice, and together to offer to the wider community gifts of joy, hope and moments to join in with which lifts our heads and hearts.'

Following this first performance, on Wednesday 13th December the choir were invited to sing at an event organised by Crediton Milling entitled ‘An audience with Kaleb Cooper’ raising money for the Kaleb Cooper Bursary. The evening involved a Q&A with Kaleb, as well as the choir getting into the festive spirit with some Christmas songs.

Dan said: 'This was another surreal experience for the choir, but it was a great opportunity to come together again and sing for more people within the farming community.'

The choir’s next performance is at the Farming Community Network’s Christmas Carol Service on Tuesday 19th December at Exeter Market, which will be another festive event bringing people together from all parts of the farming community.

Dan adds: 'From the Archbishop of Canterbury, to Kaleb Cooper, we’ve certainly had an interesting first couple of performances and I can’t wait to see where the choir takes us.

'We’re hoping to see the choir grow and we’re encouraging more Devon Young Farmers to get involved – watch this space!'