Sunday, 16 December 2007


Roughly eighty singers raised the roof of Leamington Spa's parish church last night performing celebratory songs from around the world - to a house-full audience.

Conducted by the charismatic Bruce Knight (festively costumed as a shepherd, foreground above), this is no ordinary stand-and-deliver choir.

For a start, there are no auditions and no printed music is used. The singers learn by listening, repeating and gradually building up the layers of harmonies under Bruce's cheerful, encouraging guidance.

Many of the singers have never sung in a choir before, having had negative experiences at school or eleswhere.

The HB, an enthusiastic recent convert, never believed that singing was something he could even begin to think of enjoying. It was definitley for 'other people' - the musical ones.

But Bruce's choir is based on the inclusive principle: 'If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.'

Liberating, or what?

Finding a voice, and liberating his inner bass has been one of the top experiences of 2007.

By the way, the concert raised money for the excellent devlopment charity WATER AID.