South Oxhey Choirs head for Westminster
The Colosseum may be shut for refurbishment but that won’t deter the might that is the South Oxhey Choirs.
Following an amazing year of sell-out performances after launching on BBC Two’s The Choir: Unsung Town, the South Oxhey Choirs (children and adult) is staging this year’s Christmas concert at the prestigious Central Hall in Westminster with the help of their regular conductor and The Choir presenter, Gareth Malone.
The South Oxhey Choirs concert at Watford Colosseum last year was a definite highlight for me. I ask Gareth if the choir is looking forward to its move to the capital?
“We are getting some last minute jitters but we pride ourselves on singing everything from memory. That’s almost and hour and a half of music for everybody to learn and it’s no mean feat.
“Undoubtedly this is our biggest gig yet. Because it’s opposite Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament you feel that the national spotlight is on you.
“I'm hoping people will come from Watford and support their local choir on what is a massive night for us.”
I think it’s one of my favourite ever choirs and it’s been a very special time.Gareth Malone
So what can audiences expect to hear?
“We are attempting a mash-up of Cheryl Cole’s Fight For This Love and Van Morrison/Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight with children on glockenspiel and a 40-piece orchestra. We’re also doing Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, which is just gorgeous. There’ll be new soloists from the choir including Jim who’s singing Always On My Mind, an a cappella version of The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News – that’s my favourite I think. And we round off the evening with a Christmas sing-a-long featuring some old favourites.”
So who are the rising stars of the show?
“The tenors in particular have got some new and exciting singers and there are a couple of young sopranos coming through who’ve really helped the sound.
“I’m very pleased with our Cheryl Cole – Mel – who has a really great voice and does it better than Cheryl if you ask me; and there’s a very sweet solo by a boy called Tyler who is definitely going to melt a few hearts.”
So is the South Oxhey Choir Gareth’s biggest success story?
“I think it’s one of my favourite ever choirs and it’s been a very special time. I was just married when we started and now I have a baby daughter. I think South Oxhey needed a break and I think that the choir has been instrumental in helping a lot of people there. It’s singing with other people that does it – it lifts you.”
The South Oxhey Choir will perform at Central Hall, Westminster, London on Friday, December 10. Details: 0844 871 8821, www.southoxheychoirs.org/tickets