This year’s Eisteddfod music festival in Llangollen hosts a choir with a difference - all members are recovering alcoholics or drug addicts.

The recently-formed Grace Note Choir is the creation of a former alcoholic and is now poised to take centre stage at the world-famous event with Rule The World by Take That.

Although the 17-strong ensemble has only been together for two months it has already mastered a plethora of pop and gospel songs.

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The line-up includes men and women aged 21-60 and is the brainchild of Mark James, 27, of Ellesmere Port.

Named after a particular type of musical note, the group will perform at the international musical showcase today (Thursday, July 10) in the specialist act category.

Mark, who trained in musical theatre, began his quest to become choirmaster by advertising for members to come along to an open audition.

The event was held at the headquarters of the charity Tier 3 Addaction Chester in Boughton which helps addicts to recover and where Mark volunteers.

Mark said his motivation for starting the choir was sparked by his brush with death because of alcoholism.

He said: “Two years ago I was diagnosed with liver disease and spent eight months in hospital. 

“I nearly died - it was just awful.  But looking back it was really a blessing because now I get so much enjoyment out of life.

“I started volunteering at Addaction because a lot of people helped me to recover so it’s my way of giving something back.

“I was so surprised by how many people came along to that first audition. 

“It was difficult at first for some of them (to sing) but we’ve since gone from strength to strength.”  

Mark is already planning a new repertoire for the choir with songs from every decade to the present day, starting with the 1920s.

Jodie Marsh, project worker at Tier 3 Addaction Chester and choir member, said initially rehearsals were difficult for the new recruits, including herself.

She said: “It was all pretty nerve-wracking but now rehearsals leave everyone feeling uplifted and very positive.

“Being part of a choir is a brilliant way to boost confidence and a great way to show what we can do.

“It’s been amazing to see some members starting off really shy and ending up singing solos in front of everyone.  

“We leave rehearsals with smiles on our faces.”