The auditions are over, the new season has started and we have a host of newbies eager to earn their cherry popping rights in time for our next concert in January. But how have the first few weeks of the season been going for our new Pinkies? We asked soprano Alicia, altos Jen and Ali, and bass Paul to spill the beans.
Why did you want to join the Pink Singers?
Ali: I went to the last concert (Notes from a Small island) and thought the standard of singing was very impressive; I hoped I’d be good enough! Also there was a sense of fun that exuded from the stage and I thought it seemed like a great thing to be part of.
Paul:Two years ago, I inadvertently found myself at a party. There was a Pink Singers connection and much of the choir were there. Afterwards, my husband Ben decided to audition. I had too many other commitments at the time, but that’s all changed now and I figured it was my turn to try out!
Jenny: I’ve had for like, ever, a bitter feeling of regret not to play music, or sing, or compose or, well, be musically involved. I love music, just, so so so much, I MUST be a musician, you know? I’ve always thought I should sing – add a French accent on top of that, and you’re like, oh oui, oui! I love singing (if someone up there has filmed each time I was alone in my car/bedroom/bathroom… they’ll know). When my friend Rachel, a long-time Pinkie, advertised available spaces in her LGBTQ-friendly choir, I thought, “this is the opportunity I was waiting for.” And I made it happen.
Alicia:I’m from Montréal, Québec and moved to London in September. Moving abroad can be pretty scary and I wanted to find my ground as quickly as possible. When I look back at my planning notes, the Pink Singers were at the top of my list!
How did the audition go? Was it a bit like the X Factor..?
Jenny:I’m not sure about the X Factor, does the The Voice count? The audition had two parts- singing in a small group and then showing off your own singing skills. The second part freaked me out! There was a really great soprano singer auditioning before me and she sounded awesome. It froze me. I was too scared to sing at the appropriate volume and of course, ended up out of tune. Obviously, my pretty face saved the day. 😉 That wouldn’t have happened on The Voice.
Ali:Quite nerve wracking – took me back to doing aural tests in music exams!
Paul: The audition was very nerve wracking. I’m not a particularly technical singer and my sight reading is atrocious, but clearly I must have done something right! Having to impress the judges, Simon, Mel and Cheryl – sorry I mean Murray, John and Oli, was no mean feat…
How have your first few weeks at rehearsals been going?
Paul:The first few weeks have truly been magical. The warmth and welcoming nature of the whole choir has made the process very easy. The repertoire for me is very challenging; some days I wake up in the morning and the first thing that goes through the mind is a German Mozart lyric or a vogue dance move. (I think I’m developing a problem).
Last week at rehearsal though, singing ‘And So It Goes’, there was a point where I put down my music, turned my head, listened to the choir and I thought, this is special. I’m proud to be a part of it.
Ali:I love the eclectic range of music we sing, it’s part of what attracted me to the Pink Singers. In one rehearsal we’ll be singing Brahms, then Joni Mitchell and learning choreography for River Deep Mountain High! It keeps me on my toes!
Is being in the Pink Singers what you expected so far?
Alicia: It’s great – I was very amused at all the similarity with my home choir and also pleased with the structure and differences; it’s teaching me a lot and I feel very supported. I’m looking forward to performing with the group in January!
Jenny: It is hard work, but I’m enjoying the experience a lot! Being part of the choir is fun and rewarding, and no one has ever told me off for being an awful singer! Having to master 19 songs to be able to perform ‘off-copy’ is a lot of pressure, but it’s all worth it and there is incredible joy both in singing and in hearing yourself improve, as well as a great feeling of being part of something bigger.
Ali:It was daunting walking into a group of strangers but the welcome from everyone in those first few weeks was amazing and made me feel like I’d found something rather special.
And finally, how was the newbie party?!
Paul:the newbie party didn’t disappoint. I was given a sticker with Northern Ireland on it and the rest of the night, my quest was to unite the Kingdom, so thanks to Hester’s Scotland we made it half way! It was a great way to integrate, not just the newbies but the whole choir with each other.
My lasting memory was at the end of the night as I was making my way down the road towards King’s Cross. Behind me in the distance I could hear a drunken choir’s rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go on’ wafting into the sky. At that moment, I realised that my Sundays are not going to be the same again..!