How to nail it on gig day


With both of Soul of the City’s Spring Gigs approaching this weekend, we ask ourselves – how do you get the most out of a performance?

  • If you suffer from stage fright, focus solely on getting through that very first line. Once that’s out of the way, everything tends to fall into place, so giving yourself something specific to do before singing your first note can work wonders!
  • Enjoy the feeling of being on stage, look around you in rehearsals to get used to the size of the performance space and think how much energy you will need to fill that space.
  • As Johnny once (almost) said to Baby in Dirty Dancing – The words aren’t enough…….FEEL the music!
  • Vibe off the audience – just take the time to appreciate how much they are enjoying hearing you sing!
  • Lap up the moment – this is what all your hard work has been for, so bask in the glory!

Who sings with us? And why?!


This week, meet Russ, who as well as singing with our Brighton choir, is performing as a support act at our end of term gig next week!

I joined Soul of the City Brighton at the beginning of 2017.  I knew I loved singing but I didn’t have the confidence or outlet to go it alone. A friend suggested I try joining a choir, and after some Googling I found Soul of the City.

 It was terrifying turning up for the first time and trying something completely unfamiliar! I was made to feel really welcome by everyone, especially the other guys in the tenor and bass sections. There is a genuine sense of camaraderie, and I really felt this when we went to the Roundhouse for the gathering day for the Voices Now festival that is happening in July.

 I have met people I probably wouldn’t otherwise have encountered, and have now got an activity and interest that is completely unconnected to my work, which is refreshing! I’ve been really enjoying this term and have been in awe of how the harmonies and arrangements are constructed and composed- it can be challenging sometimes to get the parts right, but it sounds amazing when it all comes together.

 I would encourage anybody who loves singing, or just wants to get out and meet new people to give it a go. 

Hassocks Choir supports local hospice


This term, the wonderful Hassocks Choir has chosen to support a local hospice, with the proceeds from their spring gig going to St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley.

St Catherine’s was established in 1983 and provides expert end of life care in Sussex and East Surrey, helping more than 2,000 terminally ill people, their family members, friends, and carers each year. They also provide emotional, spiritual and welfare support to anyone affected by death and bereavement.

SOTC Hassocks is proud to help ensure that people receive the best support when life comes full circle. To find our more about St Catherine’s please visit

And you can snap up the last few remaining tickets to the Hassocks choir’s gig on 8 April here – but be quick!


You’re in for a treat…


At Soul of the City Choir’s gigs, the audience get to enjoy amazing choral singing – as well as being treated to some of the best local musical talent, in the form of our fabulous support acts.

On 8 April, The Hassocks’ choir’s audience will enjoy a performance from Brighton band Nighthouse. Nighthouse have been described by Nuit magazine as: ‘Crushed melody of sweetened folk and bitter rock music. Falsetto vocals and a sparse electric piano which then crescendo into a soft as butter unreleased Radiohead single‘. You’re welcome, guys!

At the Brighton choir’s gig on 9 April, local musician Paul Murray will be performing a mix of folk, indie and blues songs, with a bit of heavier rock guitar thrown in. Over the past few years Paul has been gaining recognition on the London and Brighton scene having played hundreds of venues including The Garage, ULU and Ronnie Scott’s in London – as well as everywhere around Brighton and Sussex! We really can’t wait to see him.

Tickets for the Brighton choir’s gig are sold out, but you can snap up the last few remaining Hassocks’ gig tickets here:

Support at both gigs will also come from two of our amazing choir members, Mike Hanna and Russ Grooms – but more about these guys next week…

Hft – supporting people with learning disabilities


Soul of the City Choir is proud to donate the profits from our gigs to local charities. Choir members have the opportunity to nominate charities that mean something to them to receive the proceeds from our gigs. This term, the Brighton choir is delighted to be supporting Hft, a charity for people with learning difficulties.

Hft is a national charity, providing services for people with learning disabilities throughout England. They support people to live the best lives possible – whether by providing support for just a couple of hours a week, or 24 hours a day.

Hft Sussex works hard to find creative ways to help combat isolation and enable people to enjoy new experiences and activities. Last year, Htf Sussex created CoreFest; a unique fully-accessible music festival for the whole community. CoreFest is set in the beautiful orchards at Hft Sussex, and is fully equipped to cater to the various needs of people with disabilities; from wheelchair-accessible pathways, to adult changing stations, to chill-out sensory areas, to staff with a sound understanding of the challenges people may face. Corefest 2017 is set to be even bigger and better that last year’s debut!

Music is close to all our hearts here at SOTC, and we all know that live gigs can be exciting, exhilarating and a fantastic social experience. So we are thrilled that we are able to help support Hft through our Spring Concert on 9 April 2017 to make CoreFest 2017 an event to remember, accessible to all.

Check out more about Hft here:

Voices Now!


Soul of the City is absolutely delighted to announce that we have been invited to perform as part of the Voices Now Festival at London’s Roundhouse in July 2017.

The festival will bring together different types of choirs from around the UK, to sing at one of the country’s leading venues in front of thousands of people across three days. SOTC will get to work with some of the UK’s most exciting choral directors and musicians to create the next Voices Now festival… and we simply CANNOT WAIT!

The creative process began on 26 February, when SOTC singers took a road trip from Hove to London to meet the other choirs who have been selected to take part, and got to feed into the planning process.

To find out more about Voices Now, check out their website:




Exciting news readers! Tickets for SOTC Hassocks’ spring concert are ON SALE!!

Join the Hassocks Choir on Saturday 8 April at St Andrew’s Church, Burgess Hill, for what is sure to be an absolute belter of a gig!

The evening of soulful singing will include hits from David Bowie, Bill Withers, Lorde and more, all sung in 3 and 4 part harmony. Tickets are going fast so get in there while you can…

Tickets can be bought here:

Money raised will be donated to St Catherine’s Hospice, Sussex.

The Brighton Choir’s spring gig will be on 9 April at The Old Market, Hove – tickets for the concert sell like hot cakes, but subject to availability, some might be available to purchase online… keep ‘em peeled for updates, SOTC fans!

See you there!

If music be the food of love…


So next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day – and as love is in the air, for this week’s blog we thought we’d take a look at the crucial role that love plays in music.

Love – whether it be soppy, sexy, unrequited or heartbroken – has been inextricably linked to music from the year dot. Shakespeare knew the score when he wrote Twelfth Night; Orsino asks the music to ‘play on’ because he is frustrated in his courtship of Countess Olivia. He muses that an excess of music might cure his obsession with love….

Fast forward to the spangly, sparkly 1980s, and we were still obsessed with the relationship between love and music – ‘Love’ was the most popular word in Billboard song titles during that decade. (In the Naughties, the most popular word was the slightly less romantic ‘We’).

So whatever you are doing this V-Day and no matter who (or what) you are serenading, crank up the music and sing, sing sing!

Practice makes Perfect!


With half term fast approaching, in no time at all the spring gig will have come around!

This week Vanessa reminded us that practice does indeed make perfect. In order to get the best out of our rehearsals, choir members can practice to their hearts’ content – as all of our three, four, five, six, seven and even more part-harmonies are now in the SOTC Dropbox folder!

So don’t let any time go to waste – whether you’re brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, brushing the dog (but hopefully not having a brush with the law!) – get practising!

And even if you’re not able to sing along, just listening to those parts will help them sink in!


Getting ready for the big gig


The highlight of the choir year is our trio of end of term gigs.

Choir is currently rehearsing for our spring concert, which will take place at The Old Market in Hove on 9 April 2017.

The Old Market is a stunning venue, which started life as an indoor market, before being transformed into a riding academy and stables in the 19th Century. Rumour has it that the ghostly sounds of clomping hooves still haunt modern day inhabitants – spooky!

The venue began its metamorphosis into a top-notch artistic space in the 1980s. If you want to come check out it’s fabulous acoustics (and our even more fabulous singing), don’t forget to get your tickets to the SOTC spring concert pronto!