Kitchen associate Gemma Martin, who works at The Union Rooms, in Plymouth, is a member of the Military Wives’ Choir.
Gemma, who lives in nearby Plympton, is married to Adam, a Lance Bombardier in the 29 Commando Regiment.
Adam was about to embark on his last tour in Afghanistan, last year, when a flyer came through the letterbox at home.
Gemma, 24, said: “It was advertising for wives to join a choir – and Adam told me to go for it. At that stage, I had no idea what it was about and was nervous about going along, as I didn’t know anyone.
“When we got together in the Sergeants’ Mess at the Royal Citadel and met Gareth Malone, of TV’s The Choir, he explained everything and it just snowballed from there!”
Gemma and the ladies travelled to London to record their single ‘Wherever You Are’ – which was the 2011 Christmas number-one hit.
They have performed at the Royal Albert Hall, have met royalty, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate, at the Military Awards at the Imperial War Museum, and recorded an album.
The choir meets every Thursday for a two-hour practice session – there are now 19 groups across the UK, who are all part of the Military Wives’ Choir.
Gemma, who has worked at The Union Rooms for almost five years, said: “Thanks to Gareth and the choir, I have met some great people, been able to do some amazing things and it has helped me through some tough times. I absolutely love it.”