COMMUNITY choir InChorus bid farewell this week to their musical director of the past five years, Aly Skidmore.

But she did go out with a song or two of happiness in her ear.

Aly recently moved away from the area, bringing to an end a wonderfully rewarding era in the life of the popular choir

She joined InChorus as an alto, but her musical ability was soon evident as she became a section leader before being appointed assistant musical director.

When founder, Andrew Russel, left the choir suddenly, Aly immediately stepped up to become musical director.

Choir manager Lorna Turnbull said: “Aly threw herself heart and musical soul into InChorus to ensure our continued progress.

"Not only did she set about arranging music to suit us, but her determination and drive to coax the best out of every member has earned her the choir’s respect and love.”

Aly heralded her arrival as musical director by staging a concert in Peebles Old Parish Church.

The first Beat the Winter Blues concert, performed to a capacity audience, cemented her appointment and endeared her to all.

This was the first of numerous concerts and events in the Borders and Edinburgh over the next five years.

During this time there were also regular sell-out performances at the Fringe and bookings at music festivals across Britain, culminating in the choir singing to 20,000 people at Carfest North in aid of Children in Need.

When performing at a prestigious charity dinner in Edinburgh, Aly even put InChorus up as an auction prize, ‘selling’ a choir performance for £1100.

She also devised the first ever ‘Choir-aoke’ where the audience ditched its inhibitions and sang along.

Under her baton, the choir travelled to Dublin to sing at a wedding, and took the chance to perform all over the city.

Then last year, to celebrate its 10th birthday Aly led the choir on a performance trip to Barcelona.

She also organised many memorable videos to promote, not only InChorus, but also the beautiful areas in and around Peebles.

And in 2017, Aly masterminded the staging a giant flash mob involving the Peebles public - the collaboration between the Eastgate Theatre and InChorus led to 700 people of all ages being filmed ‘Dancing In The Street’ to the choir’s recording.

Her most recent venture was a fun video with a serious message in support of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team.

Lorna added: “Is it any wonder that we are sorry to lose her?

"Her energy, enthusiasm and humour over these past years has been a tonic for us all. We just can’t tell you how much she will be missed.”

Aly's farewell performance was on Monday during Biggar Little Festival.

She told us: "We sang, we laughed, we cried and, most importantly, every single one of us felt proud to have played a part in the life of this vibrant and wonderful group.

“It has been an incredible journey and I’m a better person for it, but the quality of the journey isn’t down to the distance you travel but the people you travel with.

"Directorship may end but friendship and memories last a lifetime.

"Thank you to this fabulous choir for enriching my life for so long.

"InChorus will go on to new adventures under the baton of their new MD and I have no doubt they will go from strength to strength.

"I will be their number one fan and look forward to smiling broadly and proudly from the audience at many events to come.”