Choreographing for a Choir

Choreographing for a Choir

At Starling Arts choirs, we bring music to life using many performance techniques, including dance and movement. There are many things to consider when adding movement or dance to a choir song, yet it is possible to create effective routines to enhance modern choral music.

While every choir - and every song - is different, we share some of the things we’ve learnt while choreographing for choirs and singing groups over the past decade.

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Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber Chat With Lin-Manuel Miranda at The Other Palace!

Last night, two of the most influential musical theatre writers of the last century shared the stage for a very special panel discussion. Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer of Hamilton (arguably the most talked-about Broadway musical in years) spoke with Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose work has been so successful he hardly needs an introduction!

Anna and Emily were lucky enough to be in the room where it happened! Find out what they thought..! 

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Writing and me

Writing and me

Anna talks about her relationship with writing musicals and the 2016 Summer School show Finding Time. This is the first post in a series from Anna & Emily on the writing process, its highs and lows and development. Get an insight into what writing and mounting a new musical is like, and a behind the scenes look at Finding Time.

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Looking back on Seussical

We had such a brilliant time running this year's Summer School in Devon - a production of Seussical put on in just nine days of rehearsal! 

Check out what we got up to in our Seussical video trailer and album with over 150 rehearsal, backstage and performance photographs! 

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Greetings from Devon!

We are both thrilled to be directing and producing a production of Seussical which is staged by our biggest company yet, with over 45 young performers and backstage crew from Chagford and the surrounding area taking part. We will put the show together over ten days of intensive rehearsals for the youngsters, culminating in four performances.

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Kids Week Choir!

Friday 2nd August 2013

We report back on getting 100 young theatre lovers singing in the Kids Week Choir at Shakespeare's Globe. 

One of our biggest goals at Starling Arts is to see as many people as possible engaging with music and the arts. We love sharing our passion for music theatre with young people, in particular, which is why we were so excited to be part of the launch event of this year’s Kids Week, which took place at Shakespeare’s Globe on the 1st August.  

The Starling team with the Kids Week Choir (photo by Pamela Raith)

Our team led a lively show choir made up of one hundred young theatre lovers aged between the ages of eight and 12, who performed a specially prepared medley of West End favourites, each from shows featured in the Kids Week scheme. 

Official London Theatre said ‘the annual initiative, which offers a free child’s ticket for every full price ticket purchased, as well as an additional two children’s tickets at half price, offers families a chance to see an array of hit West End shows and take part in a wide range of special activities throughout the month of August.’

Starling Arts co-director Anna Shields arranged a medley featuring songs from hit musicals including We Will Rock You, The Sound Of Music, Matilda The Musical,Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables, which was performed to audience of friends and family at the end of the morning, complete with choreography. Joining the Starling team were facilitators Rebecca Bailey, Hannah Conway and Jamie Noar. 

Anna and Emily teach the medley (photo by Pamela Raith)

We were thrilled to be joined by lead cast members from some of our favourite West End shows including Les Misérables’ Carrie Hope Fletcher, Matilda The Musical’s Marc Antolin, Mamma Mia!’s Emma Crossley, Jersey Boys’ Jon Lee, Let It Be’s Iain Hornal and The Mousetrap’s Annabelle Brown. 

The stars joined in with the choir workshop and final performance, setting an incredible example for the young performers, staying behind afterwards, answering questions and signing autographs. For the participants to meet such inspiring performers up-close must have been both thrilling and inspiring, and this interaction will surely be a key part of instilling a life-long love of the arts in those children who took part. We hope that our attendees will go on to love future theatre trips (made much more affordable through schemes like Kids Week!) and to participate in the arts themselves throughout thier lives. 

Talking to the Kids Week team about the launch event, Fletcher, who earlier this year made her adult West End debut as Eponine following her performance as the character’s younger self more than a decade before, said: “It was brilliant! I did Kids Week when I was 11 or 12 and I remember being so inspired by the actors and actresses from the West End shows then. So to be a West End performer now and to come back and actually be the person to encourage these kids is an absolute honour.”

The Kids Week Choir (photo by Pamela Raith)

One of the event’s young participants, Evie Hind, said: “Today was very fun and our favourite song was [Matilda The Musical’s] Revolting Children… because we are revolting children.” When asked whether performing in today’s choir made the children want to take to the West End stage, the response was a resounding “yes”.

Kids Week said ‘There are still thousands of tickets on sale for the month-long promotion, which has now been bringing the magic of live theatre to children and their families for 16 years. To book tickets, visit www.kidsweek.co.uk

You can watch the ITV coverage of the event here.

 

Musical Virgins

Anna considers shows to take a musical virgin to.

The first musical I ever saw was Oliver! It was directed by my grandmother and starred my best friend's mum as Nancy and my uncle as her murderous husband Bill Sykes. To break Bill’s fall when he gets shot dead on the rooftops, a scaffold covered in mattresses hid behind the raised set and my favourite memory of the show is jumping off the set during rehearsals (aged only 4) on to these mattresses and thinking, 'Oliver is fun!' 

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