Why did you choose to join Love Soul Choir?
Growing up, I had always wanted to sing, but had been exposed to the sadly typical culture of singing not really being for men. I took the plunge and started singing as part of a workplace choir I was involved with, and then saw Love Soul Choir at an event my workplace choir were singing at. I was immediately captivated by Love Soul Choir’s energy and charisma. It was so different to other choirs, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The choir were singing modern music that all of the audience knew and were excited to see performed. There was no conductor or leader at the front, the choir just knew what they were doing, and it really showed. I applied for an audition, and that was that!
What’s your favourite moment been, so far?
One of the best things about being part of Love Soul Choir are the opportunities. You get to perform at the most amazing places. I have been able to perform at some the most prolific theatres across the South Coast and recently we even had the opportunity to perform at the Tower of London! Standing with my choir family amongst some of the most famous landmarks in London, singing and performing for visitors to the Tower was such a brilliant opportunity. It really struck me that Love Soul Choir stood out amongst the other choirs involved for those same reasons that blew me away when I first saw the choir. The difference in the music choices and the slickness of the performance.
What’s the best part of Love Soul, for you?
For me, and I think for a lot of members, the music is only part of the story. The culture and the feeling of family is the best part. There are really not many places where you could walk into a room with 100 other people and be happy to chat to or go for a drink with every single person in the room, and yet, with Love Soul, that is what you get. Relentless support and positivity. If I am having a bad day or even a bad week, going to choir on a Monday night never fails to lift me up. The people really are fantastic. When we go to performances, I look forward to spending time back-stage chatting to and singing with other choir members as much as I do performing on stage.
Tell us about the songs & arrangements…
The songs are really varied, and this is one of the things I love. We cover a huge range of music in the choir. We have learned music from Shakira, Phil Collins and Delta Goodrem to Madonna, Kirk Franklin and The Backstreet Boys. Our leader, Dan, creates all of the arrangements exclusively for Love Soul Choir. We then learn them in our weekly sessions. You don’t have to be able to read music. We learn through call and response. Dan teaches us parts of the song and we repeat them back to him. You then have access to a member’s area on the website where you can access the music, lyrics and more in your own time. Dan also teaches us the movement for our songs in sessions, and we have access to videos showing us what the movement should look like. All of this makes it really easy to get up to speed and maintain the professional standard that we are known for. Being in the choir has really helped to open my eyes to new music, and I think the variety is one of the best things about it. Even if I think I don’t like a song when I see the name of it, once I hear the arrangement, and once we start learning, I soon love it.
What would you say to somebody who might be scared of auditioning?
I know it’s scary. I was terrified of doing the audition. I had never done anything like it before. What I would say though, is that Dan really helps to put you at ease. The best advice I can give to someone is to pick a song that you are really comfortable with. Don’t overthink it, just pick a song you love. You don’t need to be the best singer in the world, you just need to choose a song that you know really well, and then sing it. Try and pick one you know the words to, as it is way better to sing it without holding lyrics in-front of you. Be brave – it may feel scared, but the feeling of being part of Love Soul Choir will be totally worth it. It is definitely a case of feel the fear, and do it anyway!
Give us a summary of your ‘life’ at Love Soul Choir…
Life at Love Soul Choir has given me a new-found confidence, amazing opportunities, and new friends, many of whom I know will be lifelong friends. My week just would not feel right without Love Soul Choir!