Monday, 22 July 2013

Gospel Choir of the Year!

I've written previously about the fact that I'm a part of an amazing gospel choir that I really love. We have a fun group of superb singers and incredibly talented directors who are able to make us sound fantastic.

At the beginning of the month we went down to London to compete in University Gospel Choir of the Year competition (UGCY). The choir had already won last year before I'd joined so we had high expectations that we'd do pretty well again. I was also really intrigued to see all the other choirs and find out how different everyone's styles are.
We're quite a big and diverse choir, there are regularly around 80 of us for concerts and our Christmas concert had over a hundred of us squeezed on stage. Some of the choirs were pretty small in comparison with around 20 members. This has a big impact on the way we perform. It would be pretty tricky to get all of us to do the very energetic dance moves that some of the choirs did in time let alone having enough space for everyone to move freely without hitting each other. Similarly smaller groups can't have the depth or volume of singing that we have. A couple of choirs only had 2 or 3 tenors which makes a massive difference compared to our 10.
It was a really nice weekend, we spent Friday evening  rehearsing and then picnicking on Clapham Common before separating to go off and spend the night at London based choir members' homes. It was really nice to get to know different people from choir who I hadn't necessarily spoken to much. Saturday was filled with rehearsing and sound checking for the evening's show as well as practising the song that all the choirs would sing together. We had a couple of hours over lunch time to sit in Golders Hill park and enjoy getting everything perfect while in the sun.
For the evening concert, we had 6 minutes to perform. We had a medley of 3 songs, the first, In This Life, was written by our fantastic musical director Dave Onac, then a sweet spiritual song called Bow Down and finally an upbeat Kirk Franklin piece called Stomp.

We must've done really well because we won!

It was an amazing experience and such a great thing to be able to be involved in. I'm really looking forward to starting rehearsals again after the summer break and all the fun things we get up to over the next year.


  1. Oh wow! Very well done! I loved the clip - you're all very talented. ;0) x

  2. Congratulations, Helen!

    (I finally got an account so now I can comment on your posts! Whoop!)