It’s no secret that I sing. I sing in the kitchen. I sing in the shower. I sing karaoke. I sing in an originals band. And now, for your enjoyment, I sing in a Gospel choir too.
Having been the lead (well, only) singer in the originals band for a good long while, I became aware that my ability to sing and create harmonies was woeful. Historically, singing in a choir is the most intricate harmony singing you can imagine. I didn’t want to join a static, traditionalist choir of 50 people who sing note perfect with immaculate diction. I wanted something with a bit more personality. Luckily, the rather lovely Felix (of the Smart Women’s Recording Club) emailed round details of an audition being held by another smart woman. The audition was for a Gospel ‘fusion’ choir which automatically sparked my interest. I am not religious but Gospel singing always seems truly celebratory and not mournful (like so many traditional choral arrangements do) and I thought, well, what the heck.
I turn up to the audition as the only rock and roll singer and instantly felt out of my depth. In my audition group, I had classically trained singers, gospel singers and other singers with far more experience than me. My nerves didn’t improve after the audition started as the first thing we do is listen to three notes, played simultaneously, and then have to sing back each individual note we had heard. After this was a warm up. I was the only person who had to feel for their diaphragm the whole audition to make sure I’m using the right muscles to sing. I’m was also the only person who thought a warm up was a shot and a pint before going on stage.
After the note test and the warm up, we got into the actual singing. First, our job was to sing a harmony for whoever is singing lead to Adele’s ‘Rolling in the deep’. The second job was to sing the lead on Adele’s ‘Rolling in the deep’. I was pretty horrific at the harmony singing but managed to belt out the lead part without too many issues as was expected.
Also, as if that wasn’t enough nerve inducing stuff, we were being filmed! You can see the audition video here if you so choose.
In summary, I felt entirely out of my depth and like an utter fraud. I had absolutely no expectation of being asked to attend rehearsals or join the choir. However, I was asked to attend rehearsals and, eventually, to join the choir in an official ‘sign the contract’ manner. I am a proud member of ‘Gospel Essence’ and have been singing with them for just under a year now.
I have a few gigs with them under my belt, the most recent being a Christmas carol session, and hopefully many more to come.
My time in the choir has definitely served to improve my harmony singing but, in addition, has given me far my joy than I ever expected. I can honestly say I truly love singing with Gospel Essence. Everyone shares the same passions and we all get along amazingly. Life is much more fun with the choir in it.
I am very proud of the fact that I get to sing the lead on one of our demo tracks. It’s a re-work of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and can be heard here on the choir’s Soundcloud.
We are available to sing at Corporate Events, Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Birthdays and just generally any occasion you had in mind really. No, I mean it……