Community choir Solihull Pop Chorus is set to walk in the Beatles’ footsteps in 2016 as, after packing out the prestigious Birmingham Town Hall on 17 July, they will be polishing their harmonies and getting ready to travel to London in the autumn to record at the legendary Abbey Road studios.
The choir, which has grown from just 15 members two years ago to 160 adult and 40 junior members across its three groups in Dickens Heath, Balsall Common and Knowle, has become renowned across the Midlands for its infectious, uplifting versions of some of the best-loved pop classics and latest chart toppers.
Here’s the choir belting out ELO’s Mr Blue Sky during rehearsals:
Created in 2013, by choir director Anya Small, Solihull Pop Chorus brings together amateur singers ranging from age six to 70-years young, many of whom had never sung in public before and the result is nothing short of magical.
The choir is now in high demand, performing at events and festivals across the region. In 2015 they were specially requested to perform for the Lord Mayor of London and his guests at a formal banquet in Mansion House in the City of London and footage of the junior choir featured on Last Night of the Proms singing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from the Sound of Music.
Says Anya: “Pop Chorus was an idea I had in the car one day. I wanted to create a choir for people who loved to sing in the shower but perhaps had never had the opportunity or courage to take it any further. We learn five and even six-part harmonies by ear, there’s no sheet music and the choir are just as involved in song selection as I am – I am often inundated by brilliant ideas for new songs to work on.
“There’s a huge age range in the choir and we have entire families – parents and children, siblings, married couples – involved and our rehearsals are full of fun and laughter. The choir makes an amazing sound and there’s some real talent in the group. As members find their confidence their voice develops and some of our soloists are people that spent a lifetime believing that they couldn’t sing.
“Every year gets more exciting, but 2016 is set to be particularly special. On 17 July we are taking over the stunning Town Hall in Birmingham – singing everything from ELO to Olly Murs, The Beatles to George Ezra and Madonna to Manilow. Then, in November, we will be recording at the amazing Abbey Road studios – a real experience of a lifetime for us all.”
There are still a few tickets left for the Solihull Pop Chorus concert at Birmingham Town Hall from the Town Hall Box Office. For anyone who would like to get involved, Solihull Pop Chorus will welcome new members again from September 2016. More information can be found at www.solihullpopchorus.co.uk.