Lancaster’s answer to TV choir

The City Singers.
The City Singers.
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A new series of ‘The Choir, Sing While You Work’ has just started on BBC1, telling the story of how Gareth Malone manages to unite the workers of five organisations through song.

But did you realise that Lancaster has its own unofficial workplace choir?

The City Singers was formed in 2010 from a group of 16 staff and friends of staff from Lancaster City Council.

The choir sings music from the 20th Century onwards, including current chart music.

Songs are accompanied by piano, guitar or sung a cappella, depending on what the choir feels is right for the song.

Whether it’s Disney or Meat Loaf or Lady Ga Ga, if the song works for the choir then they will sing it.

“Basically we sing songs that most people know and love to sing,” said Amanda Elsworth-Ross, musical director, who arranges each piece.

“Within the group we’ve developed a good sound from a mix of people who have been in choirs before and some who previously only ever sang in the shower, so experience is not necessary.

“Some of us don’t read music, so we work from lyric sheets rather than sheet music.”

Like Gareth’s choirs, the choir itself votes to choose the songs they sing. This has resulted in quite a mix of songs, from Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’, ‘Heart and Soul’ from the movie Big, ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree’ made famous by the Andrews Sisters, Kylie Minogue’s ‘All The Lovers,’ Kirsty MacColl’s ‘Days’, ‘I Know Him So Well’ from the musical Chess, and the local classic, ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, made famous by Morecambe and Wise.

The City Singers meet on Tuesdays at the Ashton Hall in Lancaster between 5.30pm and 7pm, and welcome new members. They will perform at Nice Bar in the Storey Centre building on November 23 as part of the ‘Get Dressed for Christmas’ event, and at Carols at the Castle at 2.30pm on December 15 at Lancaster Castle. Gareth Malone is best known as conductor of the Military Wives and their Christmas number one ‘Wherever You Are’.