They are a community choir, which means you don't have to audition to join, and they perform a much lighter repertoire than my usual choir, St George's Singers. Last night's concert included numbers such as Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, Can You Feel The Love Tonight (from Disney's The Lion King) and Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend.
They have a lovely sound, beautifully blended, and I was very impressed how well they maintained pitch considering they performed a capella (without accompaniment) and they are not trained singers. They sang with lots of energy and sensitivity, helped by the fact that they learn all their music by ear since most of them do not read music. This meant they all kept unbroken eye contact with their conductor, professional choral trainer Jeff Borradaile, who used exaggerated changes in dynamic and tempo to add vitality and interest to the music, and the choir followed him perfectly.
Interest was also added by the choir occasionally splitting into smaller groups - a group of 9 men (The Cocquettes) and a group of 7 women (The Sapphonics). There were also two spoken monologues during the evening, which added variety to the evening.
They seem to be a friendly, tight-knit group who have a lot of fun. This, coupled with the great quality of the singing, convinced my friend that she did indeed want to join them. As we chatted to people in the bar after the concert I was invited to join too, but I don't actually qualify. And in any case I do something else on Monday evenings, when they rehearse. But I'm looking forward to attending more of their concerts to support my friend when she joins.
I think my favourite piece last night was Ysaye Barnwell's For Each Child That's Born. Some of the lyrics are:
We are our grandmother's prayers
We are our grandfather's dreamings
We are the breath of the ancestors
We are the spirit of all.
Cartoon by Climate Cartoons. Click on the panel to see the complete strip.