Contest Coaching

With convention and our big national competition just over a week away it’s full steam ahead with rehearsals. April was a busy month as we had 2 weekends of coaching.

The first was with vocal and performance coach, Doug Harrington. With the help of his expertise, we added the sparkle to our ballad. This included some rhythm changes and embellishments. All very exciting! We also worked on achieving a fuller sound to really ring those chords!

Our second weekend took us to one of the high-rise buildings in the city, on the hottest weekend of the year so far. Even though we were indoors and the London Marathon was running (literally!) close to our building, we brought the sunshine inside with the energy from coach Rob Mance.

Rob Mance’s specialty is posture and during the weekend we each took on the daunting task of singing solo in front of the rest of the group, while he corrected our alignment. We discovered that the “Official London City Singers stance” is leaning too far back with the head too far forward. Those with this posture (all but two people) were corrected to lean forward, with our heads back and chin down. And also to not move our jaw too much!

Throughout the weekend we only worked on posture, positioning on the risers, and singing concepts. So when it came to singing through our contest set at the end of the Sunday rehearsal we were astounded by the changes in our sound. Who knew that having more chins and less jaw movement could make such a difference without even working on the songs.

With just the dress rehearsal to go, we are pumped to see what we can do on stage at the Sage next weekend. You can watch us live on the webcast on Saturday 12th May (Stage time approx 12:50pm) here: Newcastle 2018 Convention

LCSROB

2017 Round Up

Now that the festive season seems like a distant memory and we’ve survived the “most depressing day of the year”, we thought we would take a moment to reminisce about our 2017.

What a year we had. Highlights included:

  • Winning GOLD at SABS International Contest
  • Kicking off our 10th-anniversary celebrations with messages from our friends, including none other than Pitch Perfect’s Musical Director Deke Sharon.
  • Recording our debut album to be released in Spring this year
  • Singing ABBA in London City Airport for British Airways
  • Performing in Anthony Nolan’s Christmas Carol Concert
  • Our joint Christmas Concert & Quartet night with our brother Chorus, Meantime

Here are some of the great comments we received:

CARE International

“I cannot thank you enough for your support. It has been such a pleasure working with you over the Christmas period and so kind of you to go the extra mile and further fundraise for us. There is so much going on with CARE’s work at the minute, from our refugee work to helping women and girls all over the world to find a way out of poverty through a gender equal society. We can’t do any of this work without the support of people like you and the wonderful City London Singers.”

City London Singers 1

2018 is already shaping up to be a great year. We’ve got our big 10th Anniversary Concert with guests Trocadero, the release of our album on the same night as the show, Sweet Adelines Region 31 Convention, and a little exciting trip abroad (more news on that jet-setting soon).

 

CD Recording & Quartet Night

It’s safe to say that we have had a busy week!

On Saturday we had our CD recording in a beautiful church in North London. After a thorough warm-up, we got straight into it. We recorded each of our songs a couple of times (ok, some of them may have needed a few more takes) and then suddenly – way too fast – it was all over.

cd recording

The whole process was nerve-wracking and exciting, and definitely an experience we’re all going to remember for a long time. We marked the occasion with a Facebook Live stream of one of our favourites. Check it out here.

With our Kickstarter campaign coming to a close this week, it’s full steam ahead with the mixing and mastering of the CD for the pre-release in February 2018 (General release: March 2018). We cannot wait to hear the results of our hard work and we are excited to share it with you all.

Then the fun didn’t stop there! On Tuesday instead of our normal rehearsal we hosted a Scratch Quartet evening along with Meantime Chorus. Members from both choruses joined together to form mixed quartets and performed to a rapturous crowd of chorus members. There were laughs, interesting costumes, a quartet made of Simon Arnotts (see photo) and plenty of awards. Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

Help fund our debut album

Join our 10th birthday celebrations! Support our debut collection of classic barbershop harmonies and cool new arrangements.

As the only women’s barbershop chorus in the City of London, we want to share our great four-part a cappella harmonies with our debut music album.

We’re putting together a great mix of music, including folk, classical, pop and West End/Broadway numbers. Five of the ten tracks have been arranged especially for us by our Musical Director, Simon Arnott.

We’re all set to record in November with a pre-release by February 2018 and the entire album ready in March 2018. To make this a reality, we need your help.

The money we raise through Kickstarter will fund the basic album production. Anything we raise beyond our target will pay for licensing, album cover design, CD replication and distribution.

With your generous support, we can make this happen together!

Click here to make your pledge and secure your copy of our album:

London City Singers Debut Album Kickstarter

Thank you in advance to all our supporters x

We’re growing – many new members!

London City Singers is growing. We’ve had so many new ladies join recently that we regrettably can’t let anyone else join for now unless they can sing the low notes of the Basses – to keep the balance of voice parts.

Come and meet our newbies:

Tenor

image1

Jo

Hi everyone, my name’s Jo and although originally from Sussex I have lived in London for the past 8 years. When I’m not singing with the lovely LCS I like to go exploring – whether it’s finding a new country to visit, a new person to meet or a new wine to drink!

I wanted to get back into singing after a couple of years without a choir and found LCS through a trusty google search. I was looking for a friendly yet professional choir, and have to say I’ve really struck gold with LCS!

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

Such a tricky question… but I think I’ll go with ‘Songbird’ (the Ella Fitzgerald version). I walked down the aisle to that song, so it has lovely memories.

Bass

Me at the wedding

Ursula

I am someone who loves singing and music and I was in a close harmony/barbershop group while studying at St Andrews University. I am in a band right now and I also love to perform in flashmobs (was part of ‘One Day One Choir’ and ‘I Can’t Keep Quiet’ recently). I currently work at the BBC as a Project Manager.

I joined LCS as I’d been looking for a new choir of a high standard in central London. I also really enjoyed being part of a barbershop group at Uni.

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

I Iove too many songs and genres to pick a favourite!

Baritones

SARAH T

Sarah T

A business psychologist by day, musicals and theatre geek by night, mother twenty-four hours!

I found LCS when I was seeking a non-classical choir. I was a member for 4 years until 2014 when I stopped due to other commitments. I have rejoined because singing with other people makes me happy, and I was missing the creative outlet of being in a chorus.

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

‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ by Leonard Cohen

 

Leads

jessie.jpg

Jessie

This is the first time ever that I’m singing barbershop! I’m both excited and nervous. I’ve been in choirs before, but nothing quite like this. By day I am in the corporate world, night time I am jogging or dancing (salsa/ ballet). The skill that will probably serve me well in the chorus would be my breathing technique from yoga!

I was at the voice festival about 5 years ago and that was the first time I ever saw barbershop singing and I thought – what have I been missing in life?! It took me a few years to get round to this. Growing up in an all-girls school means that a female chorus is perfect for me!

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

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Sarah P

I’m currently discovering the delights of sleep deprivation being a new mum, although we also have a favourite baby class ‘sing and sign’ which means I get to sing much more in my new job than my last! Previously I was a project manager and may go back to that next year.

I discovered LCS many years ago just by chance and fell in love with barbershop, after 6 years I left to have my daughter. How could I not come back once I had the chance!

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

Flowers in December by Mazzy Star

A lovely thank you

At our summer concert, we were asked to sing a special happy birthday to Sheila who had been brought along as a surprise treat for her 85th birthday. Sheila’s granddaughter Sal is one of our chorus members in the lead section and Sal’s mum sent us this lovely card afterwards, (excerpt transcribed below).


Simon and the lovely ladies of the London City Singers, just a small note to say… a very BIG thank you for a wonderful evening, filled with such a variety of well sung tremendous music… and of course making my mother’s 85th celebration so special by singing Happy Birthday to her – a perfect memory… 

Celebrating our seventh birthday!

After seven years, starting with only seven singers, London City Singers is slowly but surely making its mark on the London a cappella scene and the barbershop world. To celebrate, we had a Fun Quartet Night last 04 Nov where we formed quartets after drawing names from a hat. As these were randomly drawn, some of us needed to parts that they don’t normally sing – bass singing lead, tenor singing bari, and so on. It was not only great to ‘stretch’ our vocal abilities but also gave Mel, our music director, an idea of re-voicing some members if needed.

The fun quartets who performed on the night were:

  • The Sublime Katie’s
  • SW Quartet
  • The I Do’s
  • The Dreamers
  • The Sublime Mommas
  • Ode to the Baritone
  • Happy Together

We invited guests to ‘judge’ each quartet and give some useful feedback. Our guest ‘judges’ for that evening were Maggi McEwan, president of Spinnaker Chorus and Region 31 team coordinator, and Jenny Savory, music director of Spinnaker Chorus.

After all the singing and ribbon-hoarding (Cheryl with her four ribbons!), we partied on with cake and wine (which was kindly presented to us by London Welsh Centre).

As we enter our eighth year, we are committed to hone our craft and hope to share more joy through our performances.

New CCC for 2014

As a Sweet Adelines International chapter, our operating and financial year starts from May. This means that we also select the new members of our chorus coordinating committee (CCC) around this time. Serving in the CCC gives a member a chance not only to take part in seeing how the chorus is run but also gives a good training for leadership and learning a new skill.

This year we’re welcoming four new officers to the committee. It’s great to see some of our newest members taking on vital roles and bringing fresh ideas to the CCC.

From June 2014 we welcome:

  • Hayley Amoss, team coordinator
  • Megan Dragony, membership coordinator
  • Adeline Giacometti, finance coordinator
  • Lan O’Connor, events coordinator

They join our existing serving officers:

  • Melanie Rice, music coordinator
  • Clare Costello, image coordinator
  • Hazel Peck, team secretary

We loook forward to a bright and busy year ahead.