The opportunities are incredible… 🥳

July 22nd, 2019

I’ve been in various choirs and musical productions throughout my life, starting in primary school, and going right through to university. I’ve always loved to sing and being with a group of like-minded people gives me such a buzz. So, when I moved to Bournemouth two years ago, knowing absolutely nobody in the area, the first thing I wanted to do was join a choir and start settling in. 

Looking up choirs in Bournemouth online there were a few to choose from but Love Soul instantly stood out as the most professional and fun. It had been a few years since my last singing audition, so I was super nervous, but I’m so thankful I went for it as right from my first session I was immediately welcomed into a fabulous group of friendly, encouraging people and quickly made some amazing friends. After 3 months I started being able to take part in the numerous performances that happen throughout the year and the amount of opportunities I’ve been a part of in less than two years with Love Soul Choir has been incredible.

Having been in multiple choirs, I’ve performed in a variety of small venues and at a mix of different events, but one of the things I love most about Love Soul is the diversity of the shows we get to do. There’s never any pressure to do any performances you don’t fancy, but the fun we have on stage usually means everyone wants to do as many as they can! We put on a few of our own events a year, but we also get invited to sing at other people’s events, from garden parties, to charity events, to even being trusted to sing at people’s weddings! 

My first big performance with Love Soul Choir performance One Sound 2018, which at the time was the biggest show I’d ever been a part of, in front of about 700 people at Central Hall! It was an amazing showcase of the talents of 4 different choirs, where I met so many lovely people backstage and felt super confident up on stage surrounded by my choir family. At the time I really thought that was the biggest place I’d ever perform. Since then we’ve not only performed in One Sound 2019 in front of 1000 people at the O2 Guildhall, but also sung twice on the Mayflower stage in front of over 2000 people, once for the reopening after its redecoration, and again for the Heartbeat Wessex variety show! Incredibly, next year Love Soul Choir will be performing on the Mayflower stage again, this time as part of One Sound 2020 and we’re all so excited.

The most recent performance I’ve been a part of however has been the biggest yet. Back in January Dan sent us a video to tell us we’d been asked to perform on stage with Take That. The actual Take That. In front of 32,000 people, twice! I honestly didn’t really believe it for a good month.

We had to audition for it as only 30 of us could take part and there’s nearly 130 people in Love Soul. I immediately knew that I was going to go for it, that I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity, but I desperately tried not to overthink the audition song so I didn’t mess it up and refused to let myself imagine what it would be like to get in. Waiting for the email to say who would be representing the choir was so tense but finally getting the message to say I’d made it in was an unbelievable feeling, even if I couldn’t tell anyone at that point!

Rehearsals were intense and exhausting but also great fun, I left each one with a smile on my face. Given that until that point, the biggest audience I’d been in front of was at the Mayflower, the sheer scale of performing at St Marys Stadium didn’t seem very real and I don’t think it fully sunk in what we were getting to do until we got into the venue on the Saturday. We got to have a rehearsal with the professional dancers and then had a few hours to get ourselves ready, in which we spent time doing each other’s hair and make-up, playing games and generally chatting about how excited we were. The atmosphere backstage was a big mix of nerves and anticipation, which grew when we got to watch the boys performing for the first half of the show and multiplied again when we got to rehearse with Lulu backstage!

I think we were all nervous when we stood by the side of the stage waiting to go on, but the second the music started and the lights came up, I couldn’t stop myself from beaming and putting every ounce of energy I had into it. I loved every second. Never Forget has been one of my all-time favourite songs since I was a little girl and getting to perform it on stage with Take That was an absolute dream come true. To then be on stage with Lulu as well when she came on for Relight My Fire just made it even more incredible; the whole thing was probably the best experience of my life. I cried tears of happiness when I came off stage that Saturday night, filled with joy at having done it and delight at getting to do it all again the next day!

When I first sent in my audition request for Love Soul Choir I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that I’d get to be up on stage with Take That and Lulu in front of 32,000 people, but I couldn’t be happier that I got to do it. I’m so proud that I had the chance to represent Love Soul Choir and would recommend auditioning to every person I met.

Who knows, maybe we’ll get to do something similar again one day! 

Rachel Gunstone
(Bournemouth Member)

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.


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