There is nothing like a rousing community choir to bring the joy back to a soggy British summer and this was everything like a rousing community choir. This non-auditioned, all-inclusive choir will accept anyone with a functioning voice box and vocal chords. These are the only criteria. Musical Director and founder of Soul of the City Choir, Vanessa Thomas, handles the rest.
She imparts all of her teaching and vocal knowledge throughout the 12 week terms. She tricks those who are new to singing into performing complicated arrangements without them really suspecting or running away. This is how confident she is that absolutely anyone can sing (although, I’m not sure that she means you Stephen Hawking) and some quite astonishing results are produced during the end of term performances.
The highlights of this one were the acapella versions of Pompeii by Bastille and 500 Miles by The Proclaimers. The ebb and flow of the dynamics, the five part harmonies and the look of joy on their faces said it all. Music in the community really is better than therapy. Especially when combined with raising money for local charity, this time The Butterfly AVM Charity.
Other songs were performed with backing tracks. The choir got down and disco with Boogie Nights and Boogie Wonderland. Vanessa’s conducting fingers got down and disco with a feverish Boogie of their own. The choir jostled on the cramped stage wondering which conducting finger to follow. The Boogie does not come without risks. To match their beautiful sound, it would be nice to see them moving intuitively together like a flock of melodic black and white geese.