Royal connections for Worthing choral extravaganza

Mark De-Lisser
Mark De-Lisser

Singers will once again be converging for a Worthing choral extravaganaza – a celebration of all the well-being and togetherness that singing can bring us.

Event organiser and Bright Soul director Amanda Mitchell is hoping to build on the success of last summer’s joyful Three Choirs Concert, which united three Sussex-based gospel and soul choirs into an almighty superchoir at St Paul’s, Worthing.

For this year’s follow-up extravaganza at the venue on Saturday, June 16, she is pulling out all the stops, helped along by good fortune. Amanda had already booked guest director Mark De-Lisser long before his arrangement of Stand By Me charmed the nation at Harry and Meghan’s wedding last month.

“It was pure luck for us, and working off the success of the royal wedding, tickets are going well. It has been amazing. Obviously you never know until the day, but all the singers are up for it and will bring their A game.”

“Many will know Mark for his magic as vocal coach on various TV shows including The Voice, Let it Shine and the Eurovision Song Contest. He recently appeared in BBC’s Pitch Battle, where he coached many of the talented vocal groups throughout the series. But Mark is actually best known for his choir directing as proud musical director of the award-winning ACM Gospel Choir and founder of Singology Community Choirs.

“On June 16, Mark brings his expertise to this year’s chosen three choirs—Worthing’s own Spring into Soul choir, Brighton-based community choir Bright Soul and Godalming Community Gospel Choir, for an intensive afternoon of workshops culminating in a superchoir concert in the evening.

“The idea is to bring the three choirs together and to give them an opportunity to have an experience that will really challenge them and get them up to the next level. When you have been in a choir over a long period, you can get a bit stale.

“It is really good to face challenges and to stretch your legs and to really feel how powerful it is to be part of a choir. I am hoping it will be the same as last year which went really well.

“We are looking at a theme of well-being. There is a theme underpinning it that singing is good at maintaining your mental health, and some people have shared their stories. Obviously there is the science side of singing, the factual side of why it is good for you, the endorphins and the feel-good chemicals that are released when you sing. But there is also a great sense of community that you get, a great sense of connection when you are in a room with other people and you are singing and it is bringing you together. Having that shared focus of the singing, that common goal, is such a great way of feeling togetherness.

“We will meet in the afternoon, and then we will do workshops with Mark and he will bring us together as one big choir. We will then have the sound checks and then we will do the performance in the evening.”

Amanda added: “Last summer’s event was a first for Worthing and united 60 singers from all over Sussex. To be honest, it was a risk getting three choirs in one space, to learn three songs and perform together on the same day. We weren’t quite sure what to expect. But the result was explosive! Then the moment we heard the sound of all the singers together, we just knew it would be great.

Saturday, June 16. Doors 7.30 pm. Tickets: http://www.seetickets.com/event/3-choirs-soul-gospel-night/st-pauls/1191478/

For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2

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