Meet the Winners: Southampton Choral Society
Community Music grant winner, Southampton Choral Society, has more than 130 members to get to know… We’d better get started with the introductions!
1. Who are Southampton Choral Society?
We are a group of men and women who passionately enjoy singing and we want to share our delight in classical music with other people. Our choir came together in 1943, so we have quite a long history, in fact over forty of our singers have been members for more than twenty years. Officially we exist for the purpose of giving concerts, but our choir is far more than an assembly of 135 performers. We come together on Monday evenings to learn about the minds and emotions of composers and bring their creations to life. We drink tea and laugh and talk and care about each other.
2. How will the BBC Performing Art Fund Community Music grant help the group?
We have commissioned a new work to be written especially for Southampton Choral Society and we want to share the fun and pleasure we have in giving a concert with people who do not usually have the opportunity do this sort of thing. We have invited participants from a diverse community – a Gospel Choir, two groups of sufferers of cancer and Parkinson’s Disease, secondary school choristers, a community choir, and a wheelchair-bound group of children from a Special School. We have invited a celebrity soloist to join us and it promises to be a very exciting date.
3. Tell us about the best day Southampton Choral Society has had to date?
Our best day? It might have been the moment of stunned silence when we ended the Mozart Requiem in Romsey Abbey, or the loud "Wow!" from a member of the audience at our last Messiah performance. Most choir members would say our best day was singing with Dame Emma Kirkby and discovering that we were good enough to support such an outstanding soloist.
4. What was the best reaction from the group when they found out about winning the PAF grant?
It was a new choral sound which no composer could write down – about eight seconds of cheers, wows, clapping, smiles and hugs.
5. Give us 3 words that describe a performance by Southampton Choral Society
Our performance goes from ppp to fff -- passionate, professional, progressive, to formidable, fresh and friendly.
Meet the Winners is a feature introducing you to some of the groups and individuals who have recently received a grant from the BBC Performing Arts Fund. We get to hear about so many fantastic projects and people who are keeping the performing arts alive in the UK, that we thought you should know about them too.