|Type of post:||Chorus news item|
|Posted By:||John Beesley|
|Date Posted:||Tue, 24 Dec 2019|
It's not every day that you're invited to step up and sing a couple of songs as guests on one of the country's best-known daytime radio programmes, but that's what happened to Capital Chorus in early December when we were approached by a producer from The Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2.
We'd just finished the first of three half-hour sets at the St James's Christmas Market in Piccadilly when a man walked up to us and inroduced himself as Patrick. He asked about the chorus; where we sang, how long we'd been going, then explained that he worked as a producer for the BBC, and was on the lookout for a choir to sing some festive favourites on Jeremy Vine's last live programme before the Christmas break. He'd enjoyed our performance and asked whether we'd be interested. Naturally, we said we'd be delighted.
And so it was that sixteen of us, led by Nick, our new MD, turned up on December 23rd at Wogan House, the building a short distance from Broadcasting House whose studios are used by both Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music. Our soundcheck was at 11.45, a short time before the programme went on air at midday. We were made very welcome by the programme team, invited to make ourselves at home in "The Green Room" with its stunning view acorss central London, and offered coffee from a handily-placed machine. The coffee was good, and it was great fun to watch the comings and goings, and exchange a few brief words with Jeremy and his fellow Radio 2 presenter Steve Wright as they passed by. But the wait was long - we were scheduled as the final item, due on air at 1.50. Normally our default for passing the time would be to sing, but as the Green Room was part of an office workspace this wasn't an option indoors, so back outside to rehearse we went.
Should you ever find yourself in a similar position, we can heartily recommend the pedestrian space beneath The Bridge beside New Broadcasting House. The acoustics are excellent and we soon gathered a small crowd as we ran through White Christmas and Winter Wonderland, our two songs for the programme, as well aa a couple more we sang just for the fun of it.
Back inside the studio a discussion was underway about accidents at Christmas and the peculiar perils posed by the season. Then came the travel news, and as Johnny Mathis on disc sang When A Child is Born, we were ushered into place, 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 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.
PS. We also had the chance to mention our next Blue Monday event, where you can join us for one evening to learn a song with the Chorus in January. Click here for more details.