‘You travel all the way to Southampton every Monday night just to sing in a choir? Isn’t there one closer to home?”
How many times have I heard that!? They just don’t get it. Love Soul Choir isn’t ‘just a choir’; it’s so much more. I live in Amesbury, 30 miles away, which means I travel 60 miles every Monday to sing with some incredible people – a journey I have willingly done for over 9 years.
When I look back to joining Love Soul at the end of 2009, it’s hard to believe that we are the same choir. We have come such a long way. There are three things I distinctly remember about 2009: Jack walking in with his keyboard and attempting to play his way through a few songs to guide us; never knowing which venue we would meet at the following week (this is why the phrase ‘same time… same time!!’ was born) and everyone turning up with their paper lyrics in neat folders.
One week, maybe around 2011, the choir had a huge surprise for us… Love Soul was going electronic! This meant no more paper lyrics, an online members area and, more importantly, no more lugging a keyboard around because there were guide vocals tracks for us to learn from. This always makes me laugh because it really does show how times have changed since Love Soul Choir began.
At first, are repertoire was very soul-based with a few musicals thrown in. The first song I ever learnt was ‘Seasons of Love’ from Rent. There was a Monday when we were in a social club in a back street somewhere in Southampton, all sat at bar tables surrounded by beer mats when it was announced that we were going to start learning Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’. We started on the first part, which goes something along the lines of ‘aaahhhhh, oooooohhhh’. Well that was it, we were in hysterics. There was no way this was going to work as a Love Soul Choir song! I think that’s the only time we ever started a song and then ditched it before finishing it.
Before we knew it, alongside our theatre shows, we were being asked to perform at weddings, summer festivals, big birthday celebrations and much more. We have also had some HUGE performances in our time: we appeared on Channel 4’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, sung with Susan Boyle, sung at the opening of The Mayflower, recorded backing vocals for Daniel Evans, met Shane Richie & most recently performed with Take That. I wonder who will be next to spot our talent?
Whenever we come off stage, Dan endeavours to give every single one of us a high-5, which always makes me smile. It makes us know that he is always so proud of us.
Although I absolutely love performing on stage as part of Love Soul Choir, what makes it really special are the people you meet. Over the last 10 years, I have met SO many people and friends for life. They are there for you when you’re down and they’re there through your absolute highs. We don’t just see each other on a Monday night – we rehearse around each other’s houses, meet up for BBQ’s and go out together. We really are a family; everyone is accepted.
It sounds cheesy but Love Soul Choir really has changed my life. If it wasn’t for Love Soul, I would be more stressed at work, I would have less confidence and I wouldn’t have such a strong support network.
Between Jack and Dan, what they have achieved with Love Soul Choir is incredible. I first met these two boys when all three of us were just children in a different group. They will never know how proud of them. I really am; their talent is incredible. We have so much to thank them for, we really do.
Happy Birthday, Love Soul Choir. Here’s to another 10 years!
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.