Singing in a group is fun. Remember what it was like at school – those magnificent men in their flying machines, twinkle twinkle little star, morning assembly with its hyms. We forget we used to sing every day. Although opportunities to sing as an adult lessen, we love it when we do – at rugby and football matches, in church singing hymns, a late night burst on Singstar. I love nothing better than a night of karaoke. My song? Perfect by Fairground Attraction – apparently I am a wonderful singer after several vats of wine. And of course I’m a diehard Glee fan, and love musicals – particularly My Fair Lady and I was picked to be third Puerto Rican dancer on the right in our school’s version of West Side Story – but oh how I longed to be Maria, I knew every line.
So when a friend mentioned she went to a group called the Popchoir just off Clapham High Street on Tuesday nights, I wanted to try it out. Led by the very glamorous Helen Hampton, who has an impressive CV of working in pop and musicals, in the taster class I went to (8-9.30pm) we did several songs from musicals and the world of pop. We did a Muse song with lots of fist-clenching, a mash-up of Oasis and the Carpenters (strange but worked), the Cee Lo forget you song with nice swingy dance moves, and a song from the musical “Chess” that I didn’t know before but which was beautiful. I hear they’ve even done Gaga and Britney *screams*. We were around 40 girls and 1 bloke (not one for finding a date, ladies!) and split into different groups depending on your voice range. No audition. Phew.
I was struck by how nice everyone was – chatting and laughing during the rehearsal and inviting me for beers afterwards even though it was my first time to rock up. And I really enjoyed the singing. I picked it up fairly quickly by singing along with the girls next to me, and found myself belting out the notes by the end, really enjoying the gorgeous harmonies we were making. Sadly terms ends in July so I decided not to sign up while wedding season is in full flow, but term starts again in September and I’m in for signing up for every Tuesday. The cost is £108 per term which is great considering how many sessions you can come along to, and they participate in various community concerts throughout the year. If like me, you watch Glee and think “I should do THAT!” then I’d definitely recommend it.