Marie O’Brien




Michael Underwood, Marie O'Brien BCAa, Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers

Michael Underwood, Marie O’Brien BCAa, Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers

Marie joined a local community choir, in Eastleigh, seven years ago where she sang once a week When it transpired that the leader of the choir was leaving, Marie agreed to take over, even though it was never on her agenda, and she had no experience.

However, Marie thrived in the leadership role and decided to set up a second choir in her home town of Winchester, and in 2013 the Winchester Fusion Choir was born with just three singers, now it has over 90 singers. It was her vision that the new choir should be fun, embrace all, include all abilities, no auditions, no choreography and no previous knowledge needed.

In 1998 Marie was involved in a road traffic accident which completely changed her life.  She sustained a broken neck with a spinal cord injury, with talk of possible tetraplegia.

However, Marie made a complete recovery, amazing all.  This life changing experience has led to an unwavering gratitude for life and has inspired her to create choirs unlike many other choirs, that are joyful, uplifting and inclusive. During her time with the choirs, they have been instrumental in collecting over £48,000 for charities, including one which sent a young girl to America for life-changing surgery.


Nominated by:  Nancy Maidment