A birthday, quartet night and awards on one night!

Last Tuesday, 15 Nov, was a very exciting night at London City Singers for three big reasons — it was our annual quartet night, the chorus awards results were announced and it’s our 9th birthday!

The awards/snacks table was set out and we were ready for a night of great entertainment from our talented members. Eight quartets stepped up to perform. Some had epic ballads, some had sweet melodies, and some were just damn right wacky and hilarious.

Highlights were Hail Mary and their side-splitting rendition of Big Hair, complete with metallic ponchos and a balloon at the back of Katherine’s head (don’t ask!). Pindrop had the moves, and Relativity began their set by candlelight singing Pitch Perfect’s Cups song.

While our judges for the night (Sophie Hasson, Luke Stevenson and Ali Hay-Plumb) were making their tough deliberations, the winners of the LCS Awards 2016 were revealed. We had awards for Joker of the Pack (Ruth & Sal), You Got the Moves (Adeline), Little Miss Sunshine (Emma), Can’t Get Rid of Her (Hazel) and even a Red Knicker Recipient (Mariane). Our musical director, Simon, won the You Go, You award, and the ultimate recognition, the chosen Sweet Adeline of the Year was Katherine.

After the whole chorus sang Happy Birthday and blew out the candles for our 9th anniversary, the time had come for the quartet results.

Pizzazz snagged third place, Hail Mary came second, and Relativity received the coveted first place for their awesome performance.

All in all, it was a fantastic night of laughs, singing, and a few too many sausage rolls. Now we have a whole year to wait until we can do it all again!


Written by: Adel Hanily, baritone

See more photos of this special night on our Facebook page and don’t forget to ‘like’ our page to keep up-to-date with London City Singers

LCS Retreat 2016

London City Singers goes on a retreat weekend each year, usually around spring, to prepare and focus on our contest package for convention. For our 2016 retreat, baritone section leader Katherine sums up the weekend.

We’ve recently returned from our annual retreat, a residential weekend packed with singing and fun aimed to focus our energies on our upcoming convention performance.

Last year I was a newbie at retreat, having passed my audition at the start of the same week. The retreat was a wonderful way to get to know the chorus, as well as learning barbershop basics like coning while I tried to wrap my head around the mysteries of something called ‘convention’. I remember us videoing a pyjama-party cut of our uptune and trying to sing every song the chorus had ever learnt as we walked back to our accommodation block in the middle of the night.

A year later, we were back at the same venue, and I suddenly felt like an old hand as I helped out with warm-ups. Once again I grappled with ‘convention’, this time trying to sum up the experience for another generation of new members.

Once warmed up, we were joined by our coach, Nicky Salt (now coming all the way from France) and our new director, Simon Arnott. In the collective psyche of the chorus, this meeting of coach and director felt like the first time you invite two different groups of friends to the same party. We love them both but what would they make of each other? We needn’t have wasted a minute on this idle speculation. They were immediately united by their ambition for us as a chorus, their appreciation for our chorus personality, and their flair for creating an entertaining performance.

Two days well spent and well rewarded—including another memorable Saturday evening, this time testing our knowledge of pop, rap and rock lyrics, eating kilos of sugar, and watching Pitch Perfect 2.

Helen and Hayley excited to watch Pitch Perfect 2

Quiz night winners, PJ Ninjas

It was impossible to capture everything we learned in a single page, but we brought some real changes back home. We changed our weekly warm-ups so that we’re unifying our sound right at the start of every rehearsal. Working on our ballad has unlocked the emotion of the song for us, connecting us with the magic of the lyrics. As for our uptune, well… we can’t wait to share it with our region at convention in a few weeks. We hope our friends in Region 31 enjoy the performance as much as we do.

Quartet night for our 8th birthday!

There was cake, bubbly and singing, of course! Quartet Night 2015 was hotly contested this year between six participating quartets. With the high quality of the performances, it was quite challenging to identify which quartets regularly sing together from those who only formed from drawn names.

Bar-bar-bar-bar-bar-barellas were drawn first to perform but with their tenor, Sarah, delayed due to the DLR strike, Acapitches kicked off the proceedings. They started off with a perfect rendition of And So It Goes by Billy Joel followed by a choreographed, complete with props, One Direction song, That’s What Makes You Beautiful. Acapitches finished off their set with a barbershop classic, Flirty Eyes. They were indeed a tough act to follow! But Sisters of Mercy were up to the challenge giving a solid performance of Duffy’s song, Mercy. Next up was SW with their new lead, Hazel. Their delivery of David Guetta’s Titanium (arranged by David Wright and Deke Sharon) was nothing short of energetic.

There was a brief pause afterwards to allow Charl to change costume as she was also singing bass in the next quartet. Beehive sang Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends beautifully. The Margaritas, with former LCS member, Clare, followed with a very tuneful performance of True Colours by Cyndi Lauper. Just as Bar-bar-bar-bar-bar-barellas were about to withdraw, Sarah walks in and allowed them to perform Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Unlike last year, selecting the winners for Quartet Night 2015 were down to the members. Everyone was asked to identify their 1st, 2nd and 3rd as well as best in costume, choreography and most entertaining with one condition – one cannot select their own quartet for any of the categories. The results of the Eurovision-inspired voting were:

1st place – The Margaritas
2nd place – SW
3rd place – Acapitches

Best Costume – The Margaritas (rising above the other quartets who wore all-black!)
Best Choreography – Acapitches
Most Entertaining – Acapitches

 

Acapitches win bronze

 

 

 

SW wins silver

 

 

 

The Margaritas win gold

 

 

 

Our team coordinator, Hayley, summed up the evening perfectly:
“What a fab quartet night! Some incredible singing from amazing quartets. So much talent in our small-but-perfectly-formed chorus.”

See the rest of the photos of the night on our Facebook page

LCS awards 2015

Last year we introduced the LCS Awards where we recognise the awesomeness that our fellow members have shown to drive our chorus forward towards achieving our goals. The winners are selected from the members by the members, which makes it an extreme honour to be highly regarded by peers.

The winners this year are:

Little Miss Sunshine – always upbeat, cheery and positive on Tuesday nights
Katherine Richardson

Red Knicker Recipient – one who always know how to turn on the sassiest attitude
Charl Asuit

She’s Got the Moves – she can dance, she can jive, she busts the best moves
Adeline Giacometti

You Go, Girl! – overcame problems, tried something new or gone way outside of her comfort zone to do something amazing
Cheryl Pardey

Joker of the Pack – always makes us laugh
Lan O’Connor and Ruth Butchers

Can’t Get Rid of Her – demonstrated impressive attendance (based on actual attendance records)
Hayley Amoss and Charl Asuit

Sweet Adeline of the Year – who exemplifies the spirit of our chorus and the mission of Sweet Adelines International
Hayley Amoss

Congratulations to the winners!