Meet a member: Adel

In this month’s meet a member it’s our resident social media whizz, Adel who’s celebrating her first anniversary with the chorus.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Well hello! Firstly I love singing, obviously! My life pretty much revolves around music. I set up events for a ticketing company for work and I spend a lot of my time at gigs, or just being a geek listening to a cappella groups on YouTube. I’m a big fan of the show people love to hate: The X Factor. I also enjoy movies and dance fitness classes (good to get ideas for choreo!).

How did you find out about LCS?

I’m a bit of an old timer when it comes to Barbershop and I was a member of 2 other Sweet Adelines choruses, so I’d heard of LCS through that.

Why did you join?

After a bit of a break I was missing some 4-part harmony singing in my life and when I realised the rehearsal hall was so close to my work I thought I would pop along. I loved it and the rest, as they say, is history!

What was your first experience of a cappella or Barbershop and who did you see?

My first experience of Barbershop was when my mum handed me a leaflet for a free singing course local to my house. I dragged a friend along and quickly realised that they were actually forming a chorus which would later be known as Cheshire A Cappella. I quickly fell in love with this hobby and soon became a member. But what really gave me an insight into Barbershop was an education evening with the male group, Westminster Chorus from the US. I was blown away by their talents and later on, I ended up singing tags in the bar with some of the members. It was a fun, but surreal evening.

Tell us one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

I taught myself to do a weird tongue curl when I was a kid. Clearly, I had too much time on my hands.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

Probably a song by Steps as that would make me forever happy!

Meet our new member: Harriet

This month we welcome a new member to the baritone section: Harriet (AKA Bariet, pictured in the middle with the grey top). With a sister already in the chorus and being part of the team supporting us at the convention in Spain, it’s like she was a member already.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am super psyched to be joining the chorus! I love singing with other people and I think what London City Singers are doing is pretty darn cool. I also like playing games, spending time with animals, especially chickens, and working with children. Also tea!

How did you find out about LCS?

Through my sister Leila who was already in the chorus. She’s older, in case you’re wondering.

Why did you join?

I tagged along to the SABS 2017 convention for a holiday.  It was ridiculously fun and I wasn’t even singing! I’d been in choirs before but never an all female or barbershop chorus, so I was keen to give it a go.

What was your first experience of a cappella or barbershop and who did you see?

The Kings Singers! They were guests at a concert I saw when I was about 15 and I was hooked.

Tell us one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

I can make a noise like a woodblock.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

Birdsong.

Meet our new member: Emma O

The prospect of singing regularly and working towards a goal (like convention) were some things that made Emma (pictured in the middle) join London City Singers. She joins our bass section already with the knowledge of barbershop and experience of a Sweet Adelines convention.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

After university, I completed a TEFL qualification and began teaching English as a foreign language to international students in central London. I absolutely loved it as I met such interesting people from all over the world. The teaching bug took hold and I wanted to pursue my own foreign languages which I studied at university (French and Italian) so I decided to do a PGCE in secondary languages. A year and a bit later, and I’ve almost finished (or should I say ‘survived’?!) my first year of teaching in a secondary school in Hertfordshire! To escape from my mounds of work, I enjoy baking and (of course) singing!

How did you find out about London City Singers?

I have always enjoyed being part of some kind of singing ensemble, from chamber choir and musicals at school to barbershop choruses and quartets at university, to female a cappella during my PGCE. Since moving back to London from Cambridge last year where I rehearsed 2-3 times a week, I really missed singing regularly and was searching for choirs in London when a friend (and another new chorus member) told me she was going to the LCS taster session. It looked and sounded like the kind of thing I would like and so we went along together.

Why did you join?

From the taster session I found that I really liked the variety of music that the chorus sang, it was fun and yet challenging; everyone was keen to work really hard to create the best sound possible while enjoying it along the way. I was excited at the prospect of having singing regularly in my life again and also to work towards the goal of performing at convention. Everyone was very warm and welcoming and so I decided to go back the following week.

What’s your thoughts on singing barbershop?

I love singing a cappella and I think barbershop style arrangements are often a really fun and technically interesting way to do so. Having competed a few years ago in the Sweet Adelines convention as part of a quartet, I know what a wonderfully mad world the world of barbershop is and am excited to be part of that again.

Meet our new member: Emma W

Emma (pictured, with green top) sang barbershop in uni and was missing it. After attending London City Singer’s Taster Tuesday session, she found a group that she could sing barbershop with on a regular basis. Read the story of the newest member of our baritone section below.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a Music Teacher in primary schools and enjoy teaching children from 3-11 years old. I’ve recently moved to London from Bristol and changed role from class teacher, covering all subjects, to specialising in Music. This has proved really fun and I do a lot of singing in a typical day – but I was keen to join a singing group outside of work and sing something other than children’s repertoire! Throughout university I sang in various groups with a barbershop society and developed a love for a cappella singing.

How did you find out about London City Singers?

Through fellow singer friends advice, I had seen videos of the chorus online and then looked up their website. I thought the group looked really friendly and sang a fun range of songs. Luckily, there was a taster evening coming up soon!

Why did you join?

I really enjoyed the taster evening and was excited by the sound and the journey the chorus seemed to be taking. The evening was fun but we also focused on technical aspects of singing so I felt I could learn a lot from the chorus. I also wanted to be part of a singing group with regular rehearsals and goals (such as convention) so I had dedicated time to enjoy singing and meet new people. The chorus were really relaxed and friendly, which made me keen to go back.

What are your thoughts on singing barbershop?

I enjoyed singing barbershop in uni and have missed it since! I think singing a cappella is a great challenge and really satisfying when the sound comes together. I also like that there is a yearly convention to work towards and always a friendly atmosphere.

Meet our new member: Deborah

Back in September, we welcomed a new member into our lead section, Deborah (pictured above in the middle). Here’s some of her thoughts when she joined London City Singers.

Please tell a bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Australia, and I came over to the UK about ten years ago to do some postgraduate study and then work in London. I’m a barrister (specialising in commercial and banking cases), but when I’m not lawyering, I can be found singing, dancing salsa, travelling abroad as much as possible, and eating more pasta than I should (but I have zero self-control).

How did you find out about London City Singers?

I used to sing a lot and then I ended up focusing on study and work, so I left it for a while. I missed the exhilaration I used to get from singing, especially in a group, so I did some searches online, and happily I found London City Singers – located close to work and home, and full of lovely, talented people!

Why did you join?

I was impressed from the moment I found London City Singers’ recorded performances online – the chorus clearly had good quality, dedicated singers who were also obviously enjoying themselves! I joined because it seemed like an excellent group, and it would be a good opportunity to sing barbershop (which I’ve always loved) and the sort of repertoire that I enjoy, and also to make new friends. I’ve been having a wonderful time and I’m sure that will continue.

What’s your thoughts on singing barbershop?

I adore barbershop! My Dad is a big fan of it and he introduced me to the genre when I was little. I grew up listening to a CD by a group called The Demon Barbers, as well as music from Chanticleer, and I was hooked. In more recent times, I love Perpetuum Jazzile, the Swingle Singers, Lunch Break and many others. Singing a cappella harmonies is such a rewarding experience, and I’m looking forward to doing more of that with London City Singers.

Meet our new member: Mariane

About two weeks ago, we welcomed a new member to our baritone section, Mariane (pictured above, second from left). We asked her a few questions about herself and what she is looking forward to in joining London City Singers (LCS), the only women’s barbershop chorus in zones 1-2 in London, and here’s what she had to say:

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Mariane (pronounced Marion) and am from Barnet, North London, which is where I still live. I’ve worked in the NHS for nine years in a mainly administration and project manager roles, though my degree was in ceramics. I currently work at Great Ormond Street Hospital, which is my first job working in Central London and I’m one of those weird people who enjoys commuting. In my free time I’m involved in amateur dramatics, and can often be found crocheting little gifts for people.

How did you find out about London City Singers?

I joined a Choral Society in Barnet earlier this year to improve my singing, and was talking about my jealousy of male voices (particularly barbershop) to one of the longest standing members, and he told me about Sweet Adelines as his sister had been a member. A brief bit of googling brought up the very-near-to-work-located London City Singers.

Why did you join?

It was very useful being able to attend a taster session and have a few weeks’ prep before auditioning – this was one of the reasons I decided to come along as I wouldn’t feel pressured into staying if I didn’t like it! I joined LCS to improve my intonation, confidence and ability with harmonies, as well as to meet new people.

What’s your thoughts on singing barbershop?

Singing barbershop style (particularly as a baritone) is a really nice balance with the choral group which is a large mixed choir – I’m really hoping it will improve my sight reading and learning to blend my voice with other singers. In the couple of months I’ve been at LCS I feel like I’ve already learned a huge amount about singing and music, and how much difference a bit of ‘interp’ can make to a seemingly basic piece of music.

Meet our new member: Liss

Liss (pictured above on the left) successfully passed her auditions within three weeks of her first visit and joins the lead section. We asked her some questions about her joining one of the most dynamic and fun singing group in London, to which she happily obliged.

How did you find out about London City Singers?

I came across a flyer for an open evening a couple of years ago. I went along and had a great couple of hours, but my job at the time meant I couldn’t commit to regular rehearsals or the main performance of the year. When I moved jobs, to somewhere that gave me more free time, I came back again.

Why did you join?

I did a lot of choral singing all the way through school and university, and loved it. The feeling you get when everyone’s voice moulds in harmony – it sends shivers up my spine. I really missed that in my working life and, once I got to a point in my career where I could afford NOT to work all the hours of the week, I went in search of it. The atmosphere at London City Singers is so welcoming – relaxed, fun, but with a level of skill and professionalism that would get my voice back into condition. It was never really a question in my mind of whether I would join. It’s a workout, and a laugh, and a place of creativity, and hours when I don’t think about anything except music. I’ve been grinning all the way through.

What are you thoughts on singing barbershop?

Love it! In the past I’ve mainly done church music, which is beautiful but not exactly bouncy. This music is the stuff I listen to by choice, and now I get to sing it. And dance. Badly.

Well, Liss, don’t worry about the dancing bit, you’ll get to learn and improve on that, too. Adeline (also pictured above on the right), who is our dancing diva, can certainly give you some tips!