‘I’ll be 2 minutes!’ I shouted down the stairs as I was hurrying to get out of the door. ‘There’s an important message from Dan at choir – I’ll be down soon.’ And that was the first I knew of the opportunity.
30 of our Love Soul members are going to perform with Take That at St Mary’s Stadium.
Keep it a secret for now.
Ok. Phone, keys, out of the door.
‘Everything ok?’ My husband asked.
‘Yep, fine. Just about some performances coming up, I’ll check the calendar when we get back.’
Then it started to sink in. I knew straight away I HAD to audition to be part of the 30 What was there to lose? Over the coming weeks, we had a few emails about dates and how the audition process would work. It all seemed quite far away.
Audition day rolled around quickly. I’d practised so much even my 5 year old knew the moves! Performing one of our songs with high energy dance concepts and complex harmonies in front of Dan and Katie (a backing singer for some of the greats including Adele!) as well as members of the choir, I knew I just had to go for it. I put my all into that audition and left feeling I had done my absolute best and was proud of myself. The support from everyone was amazing- that’s what Love Soul is about. Our normal rehearsal routine carried on and all we could do was wait. Wait for the email. Will my name be on the list?
It was 9am. I was at work.
‘You have a new email from Dan @ Love Soul Choir.’
Pulse racing, I read the email word for word. Heartfelt. Supportive. Proud. The decision sounded like the hardest of his career. Was I there? Did I make the cut?
That feeling was out of this world. What an opportunity to be involved in!
Keep it a secret.
Ok. Let’s carry on with the day – which is somewhat blurry now!
We then had four 2 hour rehearsals. During the first 20 minutes, we had watched a video of what we would be doing. The emotions in the room were palpable. Was this really happening? Then the hard work began. It was full on with only quick hydration breaks (and good grief did we need them!!) The harmonies came easily to us all and by the end of session one, vocally we were almost there. Then the dance routines kicked in. Wow! After each session, we were exhausted! Dan put us through our paces – as always, he wanted us to be as prepared as we possibly could be.
Keep it a secret.
Ok. Aaah this is really hard.
The day arrived. Nerves were evident but the excitement was through the roof! We met outside the stadium at 3pm and what came next I can only describe as one of the best weekends of my life.
We dropped our things off in our own dressing room and we were promptly escorted (by the wonderful Heidi) to the stage. It was unreal. The amount of people working, knowing exactly what they were doing and where they should be. The amount of wires, lights and buttons. The amount of Adrenalin that was surging through our veins. The stadium was empty apart from a peppering of security staff which was an overwhelming view in itself. We performed the set with the talented dancers, went through any changes and logistics of getting on and off stage and made sure we wouldn’t be singed by the pyrotechnics! Rehearsals done. Next time we do it, there will be 32,000 people watching.
It was 4pm. We didn’t need to be ready until 9pm when we have our warm up with Lulu! It just keeps getting better and better. The hours flew by with games, laughter and finally watching the first half of the show from the concourse area. Members of the audience walking past us and asking for selfies! I was still pinching myself- was I dreaming?
‘Let’s go and get in our robes,’ Heidi announced as we went backstage to get our maroon choir outfits which were embellished with a very appropriate Love Soul purple sequinned sash. It was meant to be!
As we stood in the backstage area, surrounded by the dressing rooms of Gary, Mark and Howard, Lulu graced us with her presence and we went through the second song of our set. Her voice cut through the sound of the crowd- the power! Another pinch me moment.
It was time to go on. Casually following Rick Astley to the ramp onto the stage, I was holding onto the hand of my line partner. All of the hard work, sweat and late nights lead up to this. As we walked to the steps, members of the crowd saw us and knew what was coming.
‘We’ve come so far, we’ve reached so high…’ 🎵
Eruption. The anthem had begun.
We were in our starting positions. Feeling a hand squeeze my shoulder, I turned to see Mark Owen smiling and he assured ‘you’ll be great!’ Howard and Gary followed. Let’s do this!
With interaction from the boys themselves and then the dancers, we let loose and showed the crowd what Love Soul can do!
The crowd went wild. They joined in with ‘our’ dance moves. They sang along and supported us all the way.
It all flashed by in a heartbeat but if I could bottle the feeling we had whilst on the stage and sell it, I’d be a millionaire. I wanted to do it all over again.
And we did, the following night, when we all enjoyed it twice as much and took every detail in.
Writing this blog has been so wonderful and I keep repeating to my family how lucky I am.
Now it’s no longer a secret, I can now say I’ve had the most unbelievable experience singing with Take That at St Mary’s stadium, Southampton and what makes it even more special is that it was with part of my Love Soul family.
Never Forget 🎵
If you’d like to apply for an audition with Love Soul Choir, please visit the audition page on our website. Once you’ve sent your application to us, we’ll be in touch within a couple of days to schedule the time and place of your audition.