This event started as dream in the corner of a sandwich shop, when my friend Anthony Dickinson and I talked about a vision of getting more community choirs to sing together. It was a dream that I really wanted someone else to transform into reality.
But with slow quiet encouragement from Anthony and community members, I got the bit between my teeth and decided to make this thing happen! The dream: a glorious day of soul & gospel singing, bringing 3 choir communities together in 1 masterclass, followed by a grand concert showcasing our work.
In 2017 we organized our first event led by the very best; a lady just about to tip over into international fame through the Kingdom Choir. Ms Karen Gibson. She didn’t disappoint, leading us with fierce expectations, pulling out the very best in us, working on the spot during our performance and making us perform better and better as the evening progressed!
It was an historic evening – the magic in the air at this first event was palpable. It was the week of the Grenfell Tower fire and somehow it felt like we needed to draw communities together to grieve and to share. It was historic & wonderful.
In 2018, Mark De-Lisser, fresh from singing at the royal wedding, brought a completely different vibe – charming, gentle, knowledgeable, but still working to exacting standards and bringing out the very best in us. There were calls for ‘more Mark please’ from everyone and we were lucky enough to have a repeat experience with him in 2019 – helping us learn more and create a magical atmosphere. One audience member summed up the event perfectly:
“I’ve rarely seen such a committed performance in which everyone was so clearly enjoying the moment.
It was really great to witness different voices from different backgrounds harmonising, and to see the performers so clearly connecting with the audience to create an uplifting artistic experience for all concerned.
The magic of gospel singing was tangible, and it was fitting that the origins of the genre were acknowledged and honoured.
I can honestly say that it was easily one of the best concerts I have ever seen. I think the broader impact of what you do is probably bigger than any one of you can know.”
In our hearts we knew Mark wouldn’t return, despite his clear love of this event. He was too much in demand and has since been on numerous Television programmes including “Got Covered – Children in Need” & “Songs of Praises Gospel Choir of the Year”.
Our big news is we have a date and we are moving this event to Brighton in 2020. There are big announcements to follow including the name of our new guest director and our 3 chosen community choirs! Watch this space!