Capital Chorus was thrilled to perform at the Blues Festival event in Walpole Park as part of the Ealing Summer Festival 2021, where we were part of a fantastic Saturday line-up. This was our first time singing at the festival, and our first performance together since the pandemic cut a scythe through pretty well all live music back in March 2020.
Despite changeable weather and a few showers, the sun shone on our two sets, and we were also able to showcase one of the new songs we learned on Zoom during lockdown.
Capital Chorus sang 2 sets of songs at the launch event of OPEN Ealing, and were very well received by a large number of people at the party. OPEN Ealing is a new arts centre on Ealing Broadway, and we hope to sing there again.
Blue Monday, which falls in the third week of January is, by reputation, the most miserable day of the year. In 2020 West London's Capital Chorus invited new singers to drive out the Winter Blues by joining them for an evening to experience the fun of learning an entire song from scratch in four-part harmony. Six new faces took up the challenge. Neither they, nor the regular chorus members had seen the song before. Watch to see what we achieved together in under 2 hours of rehearsal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OymUF97xjZE&fbclid=IwAR10IkRlbYKSFdKL8xabd8C_5d1Ef9F2CVclxK2RtrDCMuSYpVq78fC3rlI
Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show
Mon, 23 Dec 2019
After a discussion about accidents at Christmas and the peculiar perils posed by the season and the travel news, and as Johnny Mathis on disc sang When A Child is Born, we were ushered into place in the Radio 2 studio in Wogan House, in an alcove behind the mixing desk and between two stereo microphones.
It's amazing how quickly ten minutes can fly by. Jeremy Vine put us all at our ease, and before we knew it our songs White Christmas and Winter Wonderland were sung and we'd chatted about the chorus, Barbershop and singing at Christmas. Rather than having us describe what it was like, why not listen for yourself to the entire segment. It was a definite highlight of our year, and we'd like to thank Jeremy and his team for their warm welcome, and the opportunity to share our love of singing in close four-part harmony with so many others.
St. James' Christmas Fayre
Sat, 7 Dec 2019
We were delighted to be invited to entertain crowds of shoppers and sightseers in the market pavilion at the excellent St James' Christmas Market close to Piccadilly Circus. There is a spirit abroad at this time of year, something in the air which makes people more willing to smile, greet one another and stop to enjoy a festive song or two. We were all caught up in it as we performed carols and all the festive favourites we've been practising since October. We can promise that it wasn't just the very pleasant and rather potent mulled wine that brought it all on.
Thank you to,all those who came along to enjoy songs from the whole chorus, quartets Catch 22 and Bigger Ben, and a spot of audience participaition along the way. We hope to be back again one day soon.
Northfields Allotments summer open day
Sun, 7 Jul 2019
The first Sunday in July found many of our singers down at London’s oldest allotment site, entertaining hundreds of green-fingered growers and their families and friends for the annual open day at Northfields Allotments in West Ealing. The sun shone brightly and we had a fantastic time. (Watch video here). Our thanks to all those who stopped to listen and have a chat, including the local MP Rupa Huq.
Pitzhanger Manor - Fundraising party
Tue, 2 Jul 2019
We sang at a private fundraising event held at Pitzhanger Manor in west London.
Summer Sing event
Mon, 17 Jun 2019
We had an awesome Summer Sing open evening. Huge thanks to Carmello, Guy and Martin for taking time to come along and learn the song "Come Fly with Me" with us. It was great to sing with you. Hope you enjoyed it too and that we'll see you again soon.
Capital Chorus sang at Ham Fair. Thanks to the many people who showed their appreciation and stayed to watch our 45 minute performance. A poignant moment as this was almost certainly our last public performance with Pippa Goodall as our musical director, and a very pleasant and happy day out.
The second May Bank Holiday is a time of excitement for our chorus, but it's nearly always tinged with a sense of trepidation too. The weekend marks the annual convention of the British Association of Barbershop Singers; two and a half thousand people converging for four days of celebration and song in close harmony. For many it's akin to Barbershop Heaven.
The focus for our singers at Convention takes place on Saturday, when 35 choruses, comprising more than a thousand singers in all, compete for a series of prizes in a nationwide competition. Last year Capital Chorus won the "m0st entertaining chorus" trophy with a set which included a rip-roaring performance of the Disney song "Gaston". But how to follow it in 2019 - that was a question which kept us awake on more than a few nights.
In the end our musical director Pippa Goodall, backed by the chorus's music team, decided that choreography and bravura physical performance could take a back seat this year while the chorus further honed its core singing skills. Pippa and the team chose two songs to learn for the contest. Our uptune would be a very demanding David Wright arrangement of the Stephen Sondheim number "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from the musical "Gypsie" . Our ballad, meanwhile, would be "I'll See You In My Dreams", a song first penned in the 1920s by the composer Isham Jones, and for which we commissioned a beautiful new treatment from the young British barbershop arranger Sam Hubbard.
Our preparations included work with two distinguished coaches, Rob Mance and Simon Arnott, and on the day at Convention we did indeed improve our singing score from the previous year, Overall the nine judges placed Capital Chorus 13th out of 35 competitors, achieving 67.4 per cent of the available marks.
Members of West London's leading male barbershop choir recently joined thousands at the London Marathon, singing and cheering on competitors and entertaining spectators.
Weather forecasts are something we mostly take for granted, but there are days when they can bring on feelings of anxiety and trepidation. I’m sure this is true for the thousands of dedicated athletes and fundraisers who run the London Marathon each year, but it’s also the case if you plan to spend five hours beside the course, singing and cheering the competitors on their way.
For the past few years the organisers of one of the world’s premier sporting events have invited Capital Chorus to provide entertainment on the day for runners and spectators alike. Our pitch is in Docklands, beside the 18-mile marker. With so many high-rise buildings the streets can feel like canyons, and the winds that barrel along them can be seriously chilly.
But this year’s cold weather was a small price to pay for such a fabulous view of this exciting event. The first people to power past were the elite wheelchair athletes, followed by the world’s top male and female marathon runners, who set the pace for the thousands more who follow, among them those valiant fun-runners, pounding their way around the course in an imaginative array of eye-catching costumes. Who could fail to be awed by this magnificent parade of human endeavour, and by the fabulous atmosphere which surrounds it.
Perhaps that’s why the day flies by so quickly. The chorus sang a half-hour-long set of songs five times, beginning every hour, on the hour, between 10am and 2pm. It was the perfect place to use the techniques we hone each week to improve our breathing, and to project our voices without straining them. In earlier years some of us found we’d all-but-lost our voices by the end, but not this time. It seems all that effort on Monday nights is paying off. And it all felt so worthwhile when runners themselves gave us a cheery wave as they passed. One or two even stopped to listen and catch their breath for a moment or two. We were able to offer encouragement and we hope we helped just a little to lift their spirits and recharge their batteries as they bounded onwards for the last eight miles towards the finish line.
The Chorus feels privileged to have been asked to sing once again for the London Marathon. We’re among a number of musical and vocal groups to entertain along the course, and it’s always a very rewarding day out. For a sense of the atmosphere why notwatch this short video. And if you missed us at the marathon, then why not come and see our next public performance. We’ll be singing on Saturday June 8th at Ham Fair near Richmond.
Blue Monday - open to all; learn a song in one night
Mon, 21 Jan 2019
After extensive leafletting around Ealing and Northfields and spreading the word on social media, we and our guests came together to learn "Come fly with me" in harmony in a single night, the third monday in January, believed to be the most sepressing day of the year. We certainly brought joy to that day!
Christmas Concert - "Festive Voices"
Mon, 10 Dec 2018
Capital Chorus has just enjoyed one of our busiest and most successful Christmas seasons in recent years.
The highlight was surely a well-attended and highly enjoyable joint concert with our friends the Kensington Singers, held at the beautiful St Stephen's Church on Gloucester Road. The event raised funds for Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea, whose young performers took to the stage and blew away the audience with a series of festive songs and humorous montages. Our own singers had an opportunity to reprise the performance of "Gaston" which won us a trophy for the most entertaining chorus at BABS Convention last May,. Our a cappella style and the accompanied singing of the Kensington Singers provided a varied mix of musical styles, and the evening concluded with the two choirs combining for a spirited rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".
West Ealing Christmas Fair
Sat, 8 Dec 2018
Barnes Food Fair
Sat, 15 Sep 2018
Learn to Sing in Harmony course (6 Monday sessions)
Mon, 9 Jul 2018
44th Annual Barbershop Convention (2018)
Sat, 26 May 2018
Our performance of "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast, shown in the video below, won us the award for Most Entertaining Chorus.
Sun, 22 Apr 2018
Sunshine, huge happy crowds, and the excitement of some of the world's top athletes racing past as we sang. There's no doubt that the London Marathon is always one of Capital Chorus's favourite gigs. On Sunday April 22nd we were invited once again to spur on the competitors and entertain spectators in the heart of Docklands with some of our best-loved songs, all performed in the Barbershop Style.
The day was almost as much of a marathon for the chorus as it was for the runners themselves. We gathered to warm-up at the roadside at 9am, then between 10am and 2pm we sang one set of songs per hour - five sets in total. With 14 songs in the full set, that amounted to well over 60 individual performances during the day. All that singing makes bottled water an absolute necessity for those involved, and a quick coffee grabbed between sets quickly becomes one of the delights of the day.
We'll probably never find out whether, as he flashed by, Mo Farah felt urged onwards by our spirited rendition of "Hello Mary Lou" but we did receive many cheery waves from those further back in the race as they pounded past the 18 mile marker. It was a privilege to be able to offer encouragement and a pleasure to exchange a quick word with some who came over to say hello.
A big thank you to everyone who came to see Capital Chorus in concert on October 7th at St Michael and All Angels in Chiswick. It was wonderful to meet you, and to have the opportunity to perform for such an appreciative audience.
Through your generosity our bucket collection after the show raised over £340 for the chorus's adopted charity, Nordoff Robbins.