Buses, Glitter and Angel Wings: #RealVoicesOnTour

July 2017 saw the very first (of hopefully many!) tours for Real Voices! With at least one performance every weekend it was a fairly busy month for our Vauxhall and Brixton choirs! 

We kicked things off as every tour should: singing on a bus in Stockwell! We were privileged to start the entertainment on the Stage Bus at the Stockwell Festival.

We then got on an actual bus to pop up to the Southbank centre for the fabulous Chorus Festival. Organised by Voicelab, this takes place every year and brings many different choirs together for a celebrating singing. We performed a half hour set on the Clore Ballroom Stage to a fantastic audience. This was the first time both choirs had performed properly together and what a sound we made :)

The following weekend took Real Voices north of the river for the first time ever! Now, we’d only take our choirs out of South London for something as special as the Voices Now festival at the Roundhouse! As part of a weekend full of fantastic workshops and choral performances, the festival also offers choirs the chance to perform on the open stages. One performance at the Roundhouse and another down the road at Camden Market. An absolutely glorious day of singing in the sunshine, dressed to celebrate London Pride!

The Vauxhall choir then descended on the Wheatsheaf Hall the following day for their end of year gig. Joined by the Milton String Quartet and of course our fantastic regular band, it was a really fitting celebration of the first year of Real Voices. It was a fantastic evening all round - the perfect atmospheric setting, great music and a fantastic audience. More photos to come..

The following weekend we stayed close to home with a performance at the Lambeth Country Show! We were on the Oxjam Clapham stage, and despite the rain, had an absolutely fantastic time performing to a great audience. We don't have many photos but there are some amazing ones here:…

To round off a great month, the Brixton choir had their debut performance as a collective at the Hootananny Brixton. We just about managed to squeeze on the stage, with the bases on a box at the front (as you do!) Having only formed in February this year, it was wonderful to celebrate the achievements and progress they’ve made so far.

So, a fairly packed July! We are now resting up before we get singing again in September. If you’d like to get involved, we’re actually full in Vauxhall and currently only have space for men in Brixton. However, we are launching a new Clapham Junction group on Tuesday evenings in September! Get in touch if you’d like to come along to see if you like it!









Great Harmonies & Accidentally Hitting People..

Josie, one of our wonderful sopranos, shares a bit about her musical background and her thoughts on the first Real Voices session.

Since I was at school, I have always enjoyed partaking in musical activities (choir, musicals, competitions etc.). The first choir I joined after school was 'Voci dal Mondo' in Perugia, Italy. Voci dal Mondo - or - Voices of the World - is literally what the choir was: a bunch of people from countries around the world singing in different languages.

I moved to London about 3 years ago and I intended to find a choir, but, life just kept getting in the way. Studying. Working. Renovating. Four Moves. Personal projects. Etc. For a while, my musical outlet was the occasional jam with mates, but eventually I craved something more structured. I recently went in search of a local choir: a somewhat frustrating experience. These were held in small venues and though the directors were bubbly and the musical arrangements were quite simple, the sound the director elicited from the singers was mostly jumbled! I soon gave up and pursued other activities (more like commitments to further flat renovation and a second job!).

I think after a couple of weeks of Real Voices, I will find it difficult to imagine not being part of a choir.
— Josie

Literally the month my life calms down a bit, I get a message from my ridiculously-super-musical friend (Becky) saying she's starting a choir. A SIGN! 

Upon my arrival to Real Voices - session 1, the first thing I noticed was how approachable everyone was. There was even a guy making tea for everyone (thanks Jonathan). Once we were all settled, Becky began the session. I should mention that I have known Becky since high school, and her comical, excitable, friendly manner had not changed a bit! 

We started with some warm ups that left me laughing and accidentally hitting people I had just met (I'll have to concentrate harder on the actual warm up next time!). Our first piece, by Fleet Foxes, was taught by earrather than sight reading. This was rather refreshing for me, as I don't really read music. Next was a track by Paolo Nutini. I am not a huge fan of Paolo Nutini, but since last week I have played this particular song a million times and it is becoming a favourite song of mine. We ended on a high note (particularly the tenors/basses!) with an upbeat Peter Gabriel number, leaving everyone in a good mood. To top it all off, there was some serious face scoffing of delicious carrot cake that Tricia made; there was enough for about 30 people and I even smuggled an extra slice for myself! Face scoffage was followed by a quick trip to the pub for post choir drinks where everyone chatted to everyone; the good mood infectious. 

Session 1 certainly had a lot of a lot of singing (obviously), a lot of giggles and a lot of nice sounds. The two hours flew by, and in a small about of time, progress was certainly palpable. The musical arrangements were great: all parts were given different components of the song, so there is a very satisfying degree of variation and challenge for each part (ie. each part gets a go at the good bits!) With clear direction from Becky, the harmonies were coming together very nicely! 

I think after a couple of weeks of Real Voices, I will find it difficult to imagine not being part of a choir. 

Josie is a Built Heritage Consultant and part-time illustrator. If you like the sound of what you've read, why not get in touch and join us for a session?

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