The challenge is on!

Jul06

Excitement is building as SOTC choir embarks on it’s biggest challenge yet – four gigs in seven days!

Kicking proceedings off will be the Voices Now festival at the Roundhouse on Sunday. Our first performance will be at the Roundhouse Open Stage at midday. We then get ready for the big gig on Sunday night, in the main event space, which has a capacity of 1,700! Eeek!

So with the temperatures rising, how can we look after our voices to ensure we are sounding great for our two performances on Sunday 9 July?

Top tips are -

  • Make sure you warm up. I’m sure the coach trip from Brighton to London will provide ample opportunity for this!
  • Stay hydrated – drinking plenty of water is key to keeping those vocal chords in good shape.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. No late nights on Saturday and don’t let the pre-performance nerves keep you awake!

If you are need of a ticket, they are still available here: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2017/voices-now-2017/we-sing-because/

And if you’d like to see us at the Old Market on Saturday 15 July, a few tickets for our 5pm performance are still available here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/406451

Roundhouse is NEXT WEEK!

Jun29

Unbelievably, the SOTC Choir performance at the Roundhouse is next week! Hasn’t that come around quickly!

Singing together is becoming an increasingly important activity for more and more people in our rapidly changing world, but everyone’s journey is different and personal.

The Voices Now festival will see the Roundhouse ChoirVeda Slovena Bulgarian ChoirCôr LlunsainLondon Humanist Choir and Soul of the City explore why we sing and why we sing together.

The choirs have been collaborating with 3 artist curators: American singer-songwriter Willy Mason, singer and arranger Mara Carlyle and choir leader and arranger Osnat Schmool (Filament Theatre) to create a unique evening of song and stories exploring music from all over the world.

We are really excited and cannot wait! If you would like to come and support us on 9 July, tickets are available here: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2017/voices-now-2017/we-sing-because/

See you there!

Tickets are GO! And Roundhouse news…

Jun22

Exciting news, SOTC fans, tickets for our Old Market gigs on 15 July are now online! Grab yours while you can here:

5.30pm: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/406451

and 8pm: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/407871

And who could forget that on Sunday 9th July, we will be singing at The Roundhouse in Camden as part of the Voices Now Festival – all your groupies can get tickets and more info about the event here: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2017/voices-now-2017/ The lovely photo is of our hard-working singers relaxing in the sun after a grueling extra rehearsal for our Roundhouse show!

What an exciting month July is going to be!

GROW your own way…

Jun15

This term, Soul of the City is proud to be supporting local charity, Grow. Grow is a small local charity which uses nature to improve wellbeing, working especially with people with mental health issues.

The Grow Project has been running courses for over five years, welcoming people from all over Sussex and encouraging them to get outdoors, reconnect with nature and improve their wellbeing.

Grow helps people to learn nature-connection resources that improve wellbeing; have wonderful days out that re-inspire & re-invigorate, and discover community links to develop skills & interests.

Find out more about them here: http://www.growingwellbeing.org.uk/

 

 

Get ‘em while you can!

Jun09

Exciting news – tickets for next month’s gig at the Old Market on 15 July are NOW ONLINE!!

You can purchase tickets for our matinee performance here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/406451

Our Old Market shows are sell-outs so you better be quick about it!

And don’t forget to bring your fans along to our after show party, watch this space for details…..

Double trouble!

Jun01

Excitingly, this term the Hassocks and Brighton choirs come together to perform not one, but TWO gigs in one day at the stunning Old Market in Hove on Saturday 15 July.

As this venue always sells out for SOTC gigs, we thought we’d give our fans a real treat this time by performing a matinee at 5:30pm, and an evening performance at 8:00pm! So bring one, bring all, and don’t forget to get your tickets at rehearsals! Tickets are also due to be available to purchase on the interweb, so watch this space….

The only bummer is that even though there are two shows, we are only having one after show party. Guess we’ll just have to really go for it when we hit the pub at the end of what is set to be an epic day!

 

Sing up loud, sing up clear…

May25

….But not too loud.

Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that can certainly be true with a choir. A key aspect of choir singing is that the sound produced is the result of lots of voices singing together…Blending in a choir is key to getting a unified sound. It’s super that individuals can sing confidently, but if certain voices are sticking out, it’s not a choir anymore – it’s just a group of soloists!

Plus, variations in volume through the course of a song help bring light and shade to the piece, and achieve those lovely ‘swells’ that get Vanessa really excited! So next time you’re in rehearsal, listen to what’s going on around you. If you are quieter that those standing next to you, sing up!  And if you’re warbling away like Mariah Carey and your choir buddies are sticking their fingers in their ears to save their eardrums, maybe best reign it in a bit!

 

Will we ‘Finnish’ it in time for the Roundhouse?!

May18

So this July, SOTC are off to the Roundhouse in Camden to take part in a huge festival called ‘Voices Now’.

We are really going to be stretching ourselves with the repertoire for this gig, as we are singing some material that is waaaay out of our comfort zone.

One of the songs that we are going to be singing is a Finnish choral piece, written by composer, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi – who describes himself as an ‘eclectic traditionalist’: eclectic in that he adopts influences from a number of styles and periods, fusing them into his own idiom; traditionalist in that his musical language is based on a traditional approach and uses the resources of modern music only sparingly.

The piece we are singing is called ‘Pseudo-yoik’ – and according to the composer, the words are meaningless and exist only to give form to the music. This is quite a relief, as it means it’s probably not the end of the world if our Finnish is a bit rusty – and the piece is apparently a ‘humorous look at the stereotype of the Lapland folk music’. So there we go!

Sing with your mouths, listen with your ears….

May11

So Vanessa is always banging on at us that one of the most important skills in choir is keeping our ears open, as listening (even to other people’s parts) helps us to understand how the arrangement comes together, and – crucially – prevents us all from chatting away during rehearsals!

But did you know that you might be a better listener (and learner) if you studied a musical instrument at school? Studies have shown that musical training (but not necessarily just passive listening to music) affects attention and memory. It’s suggested that the reason for this is that the motor and listening skills needed to play an instrument in concert with other people appears to heavily involve attention, memory and the ability to inhibit actions. Merely listening passively to music by, say, Toto, does not produce the same changes in attention and memory. So if you were a whiz on the recorder at school, there really is no excuse for not already having memorized this term’s parts!

 

“We built this city on sausage rolls” (and other misheard lyrics!)

May04

So this week at choir, Vanessa encouraged us to get on with learning the words to our songs, and put down our lyric and music sheets as quickly as possible. There’s no cheating at the gig, after all!

But some choir members get a shock when the lyric sheets go around, and they discover that the words to a song aren’t quite what they thought they were….

This week some of the Brighton choir were surprised to learn that Toto were singing “I bless the rains down in Africa”, rather than “I bet it rains down in Africa”; “I left my brains down in Africa”, or even better, “I bet Lorraine’s down in Africa”! Who’s Lorraine? And why has she gone to Africa?!

If you’ve got any misheard lyrics stories, we’d love you to share them!

 

 

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