When our Music Director Brett Tabisel first heard of the Britpop Choir, he was immediately intrigued. He’s been searching for the perfect show for the group to make their LPR debut and found a place for them on a bill with some great local indie pop acts. We spoke to the group’s artistic director, Charlie Adams, about the project, their performances, and their dedication to Britpop. Don’t miss them on June 30.
What inspired the idea to form a group that welcomes singers of all levels and all styles?
Before I moved to NYC I ran several choirs in the UK that were the same idea… open to anyone that loves to sing! When I moved to Brooklyn I realized that there weren’t many projects like this happening over here, and it seemed that there were a whole bunch of people who were after something like this. While we do have a few professional musicians and performers in the group, most of the folks who have joined the choir are people who loved singing in school or college but haven’t found a capacity to do so in their professional lives. We also have people who have never sung before, and have always wanted to give it a go but the idea of auditioning for a choir has put them off. Having a choir that caters for beginners right through to professionals means we get people from all walks of life and makes for a dynamic sound and a great sense of community! Ultimately, when I moved here I wanted to have a place to sing in harmony on a regular basis and realized I was not the only one… so the Britpop Choir was born!
Can you explain the group’s focus on Britpop?
As the Britpop choir, we, kind of, mainly sing British Pop, Rock and Indie tunes. In the beginning, that was pretty much solely the focus. As we have grown and developed we definitely incorporate some non – brit tunes in our sets and take part in projects that are totally unrelated to Britpop (we recently appeared in a new play, Almanac 92, by Sam Corbin , singing original songs as ‘the psychic chorus of the 90s’) Ultimately, we try to do fun songs that make people happy and sound great as a choir… and Britpop is not a bad place to start!
How do you incorporate different vocal styles and techniques into your arrangements and still achieve such a unified sound?
One of the things I love about the Britpop Choir is that we have so many different types of voice within the choir. I actually don’t stress too much about creating a perfectly blended and unified sound, which is traditional for a choir. For me the raw and natural sound of people singing in rich harmony and loving it, is pretty powerful. So there are moments when we naturally create a unified sound and others when you can hear individual voices standing out and that works for us.
What, in your mind, makes the ideal member of your choir?
An ideal choir member is someone who has a great sense of humour, we laugh a lot in choir!
A core aspect of your project is the idea that singing with a group is physically and psychologically healthy. Tell us more about that!
Singing is good for you. Fact! There has been abundant research that proves that singing can have a positive effect on your health and well being. Relief from stress, an increase in endorphins, regulated breathing and more energy are just some of the benefits associated with singing. When you sing in a large group, in harmony it has an even bigger impact, and can really be quite a transformative experience. It’s also a great way to meet new people, challenge yourself and spend your evening doing something affordable, natural and nourishing for to the soul!
The Britpop Choir performs live at LPR on June 30, as part of our On The Rise series, opening for: Salt Cathedral, Belle Mare, and Arthur Moon. Tickets are on sale now.