Tuesday 15th December 2015
A filth* of Starlings descended on the Royal Festival Hall last Friday to get festive at
Big Christmas Singalong.
Working with people who have experienced homelessness and are at the edges of society, The Choir With No Name brings members together once a week to eat a meal together and sing. The charity's four choirs (North London, South London, Liverpool and Birmingham) join in London annually for their famous Christmas bash, which this year packed out the Royal Festival Hall having outgrown its former home at the Union Chapel. And what a bash it was!!
The show was a run down of Christmas favourites, sprinkled with a touch of 'Snowing Men' from guests
Vocal highlights from the headline choirs included beautiful and touching arrangements of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and 'O Holy Night', and Chaps' double bass accompanied rendition of Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' has given me a new arranging goal: Choir with solo stringed instrument - the general consensus amongst our singers was harp...
But more than that, it was a fun-packed evening of audience singalongs and high praise being poured on the deserved and brilliant singers.
The Choir With No Name, Chaps Choir and Voicelab
Amidst the fun and frivolity of it all, I was blown away, yet again, by how group singing can play such a transformative part in people's lives, proved by a moving first-hand video account from one of the Choir With No Name singers. That transformative power wasn't just embodied by the singers on stage, but in every audience member too. We left euphoric from belting out Slade with over 2000 other people.
The Choir With No Name is the recipient of this term's Cakes4Causes effort here at Starling Arts, having raised £455.18 for them. Their brilliant and life-changing work always needs support, so if you're in a position to donate, please text SING to 70300 to donate £3, or visit this page.
Thank you,Choir With No Name for a truly wonderful evening of singing and a celebration of the importance of community.
For more information about The Choir With No Name, click here
*Filth: One of the many - and our particular favourite - collective nouns for Starling