Marathon performance for West London men's choir

Marathon performance for West London men's choir
Type of post: Chorus news item
Status: Current
Date Posted: Sat, 11 May 2019

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 not watch 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.