This Monday bank holiday I spent the day singing and rehearsing for London Flash Choir. Excellent research by the dynamic duo of Max de Lucia and Fred Feeney led them to contact my choir who read out a notice about the event during rehearsals two weeks ago.
I got very excited very quickly as I love singing and the idea of being on the BBC appealed to my huge ego (no joke). I downloaded the score the Friday before last, and found we were to be singing Bill Withers’ Lovely Day, The Beatles’ All You Need is Love and Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight. I wasn’t sure about the mix of songs myself (probably due to a bit of anti-Toploader snobbery) but what do I know…
… as the rehearsal outside Trinity Music College was just awesome. The mix of songs, the arrangement and the trumpet parts were just fabulous. Everyone picked up the songs very quickly and we stopped rehearsing with the score and started working on building up the songs into a performance. Max did such a great job of leading us all and bossing us around, I was so impressed.
We rehearsed from about 10am to 1pm with a break and then went up town to “gather” (flash doesn’t sound right) on the Southbank for 3pm. It was quite tense just before 3pm, everyone was constantly looking around for the bassist who was starting the whole piece. I hope we didn’t look too inconspicuous, it was just so exciting!
So then we ‘flashed’ and it was great and loads of people clapped and cheered at the end. Singing and dancing in front of everyone and looking a bit mad and odd was just wonderful. We then got to do it again in Trafalgar Square at 3.30pm where the trumpeters climbed up onto the steps in front of Nelson’s column. A random man joined in and danced next to Max while he conducted but that is the point right? All a bit odd and fun! More cheering and clapping at the end and then off to Covent Garden for 4pm.
Covent Garden felt like the best one because the covered market kept the sound in really well. We all mixed in with everyone upstairs and downstairs, and the bassist who started us off had the best of his three fake fights with other secret singers who had ‘stolen’ his mobile. All very odd and fun. Everyone who watched the flash mob was smiling afterwards and it was such a good feeling to have shared my love of singing with everyone.
My new pal Karen and I had the best time and really enjoyed spending the day together singing and wandering around London. I loved that the rehearsal was in my neck of the woods and that Max and Fred had the support of Trinity so they could organise this ace event and use space at the Old Royal Naval College for the rehearsal. Best way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday in my book.
There are plenty of videos on London Flash Choir’s Facebook page along with more photos. Below are some of my photos of this wonderful day full of blazing sunshine and singing fun (and extreme sunburn for me).
Max in charge outside the Trinity Music building at the Old Royal Naval College
View from the back
Singers spread about the courtyard as Max does his best to de-English-ify us and make us act less self-conscious
We didn’t quite make it to five hundred but it was AMAZING and SO MUCH FUN
“Look happy for God’s sake! These are some of the best-loved pop songs in Britain!” 😉
My new friend Karen! All the way from Rochester for the day.
Fred and Max talk to BBC journalist David Sillito who did a piece for BBC Breakfast this morning
The dynamic duo
Thank you for an awesome day! 🙂