Meet the Members of our Amplified Choir

Amplified is our brilliant mixed choir (SATB) that performs a range of pop and indie music bi-annual concerts in London. We found some volunteers from the choir to tell us a bit about themselves and their choir experience! 

Sarah Legge

Alto
Letting Agent
Amplified member for 6 weeksSarah Legge - City Academy - Amplified Choir

1. Why did you join a choir?

I missed being around musical people! I sang at school and loved it but then life just gets in the way and so now all I do is annoy all of my friends, family and work colleagues (yes I have been known to break into song in the office)! So, I decided to embark on the quest to find a cool choir that was sociable and didn’t take life too seriously, fitted with my work schedule and did music that wasn’t boring church stuff so that I would actually go after a long day at work!

2. You've already touched upon this, but why the Amplified Choir?

For all of the above! I have been to so many choir tasters and they have not been for me! The music has been dull, with few people and the conductor hasn’t really known what they were doing... argh, I nearly gave up! But then I stumbled across this choir online and decided to pop along and I have not looked back since!

3. You've only joined the choir quite recently, but what's your most memorable experience so far? 

Day 1! I walked into a large number of people and was pooing myself slightly; I didn’t know what to expect and you sort of second guess yourself! What am I doing, just go home and sing in the shower! But I was warmly welcomed with friendly faces (girls and boys) and asked to take a seat in my alto section! I was introduced to everyone, and the girls that I sat next to were all very friendly and I felt like a part of the choir straight away! Lauren who leads the choir was the 'seal the deal' moment when I knew I was joining! She is great fun, says it how it is and knows her stuff! I am sure that I will have lots of memorable experiences to come, but having only been in the choir for 6 weeks this stands out to me as the people and the conductor make the choir!

4. What are you most looking forward to at your next performance?

We are currently rehearsing for the Summer concert and I am looking forward to being back on stage!

5. Favourite song you sing with the group?

Say something! Love it! However, being an alto it’s hard not to get carried away and sing the melody! We harmonise and make the sops look good!

6. If you could describe the choir in 3 words, what would they be? 

Fun, fresh and fabulous!

Tom ChaplinTom Chaplin - City Academy - Amplified Choir

Bass
Senior Infrastructure Engineer 
Amplified member for 6 months

1. Why did you want to join a choir?

I've always done a lot with music in my life, including singing in other choirs, but I have been away from it for a while. After picking up private singing lessons and re-discovering how much I enjoy singing, I wanted to join a choir again and found Amplified choir on City Academy's website.

2. What made you choose the Amplified Choir?

Out of all of the choirs that City Academy do, Amplified was more what I was looking for, in terms of musical style. I enjoying singing pop/rock/Indie music, more than traditional choral music.

3. Most memorable experience so far?

Our Summer concert last May was amazing. It was such a good time that both the choir members and audience enjoyed. Everyone in the choir was on a high after that show, which makes all of the work everyone puts in through the year worth it.

4. What are you most looking forward to at your next performance?

I'm looking forward to all of the same aspects as the summer concert, but this time with additional musicians to enhance the sound of the choir a little more. I love a cappella or just a piano accompanying, but hearing a full band accompanying the choir will be really cool.

5. Favourite song you sing with the group?

I have to pick one?! I really enjoyed singing 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by Elvis Presley. No special reason apart from it just being a really enjoyable Bass part to sing and a lovely song as well.

6. If you could describe the choir in 3 words, what would they be?

Energetic, Funny and Focused.

Eloise KonieczkoEloise - City Academy - Amplified Choir

Soprano
Government lawyer
Amplified member for 9 months

1.Why did you want to join a choir?

I was really missing being in a choir. Singing has always been a huge part of my life, from school musicals to University choirs to karaoke with friends and family. None of the choirs that I tried since moving to London seven years ago turned out to be quite right for me. After a year or so of not being in a choir at all, I made it my resolution for 2018 to find a new group to sing with.

2. What made you choose the Amplified Choir?

As a teenager my ambition was to be a classical singer. Having been through vocal surgery and speech therapy during my music degree, I found that I had lost some of my passion for classical music, and that it no longer suited my voice. I decided to try a rock choir. After I did my first taster session, I knew Amplified Choir was the one: a choir that sounds great together, doing interesting arrangements, led by an amazing musical director.

3. Most memorable experience so far?

The Amplified Choir summer concert. After learning all of the music and lyrics it was really rewarding to hear our hard work pay off. The audience was very supportive and (hopefully!) enjoyed it as much as we did - Bohemian Rhapsody was a particular crowd-pleaser. I had the opportunity to sing a song accompanied by my friend Akay (also a member of Amplified Choir) - it made a brilliant change from our usual open mic nights in pubs!

4. What are you most looking forward to this year?

I always enjoy the Winter Concert. Being able to sing a good mix of fun music at Christmas, without having to do lots of cheesy Christmas songs (just call me Scrooge).

5. Favourite song you sing with the group?

My favourite changes all the time, but at the moment it's 'Life on Mars'. It's a favourite song of mine anyway, but I also find this particular arrangement really interesting, and I love the unique style that Lauren our director wants us to bring to it too.

6.If you could describe the choir in 3 words, what would they be?

Hard-working, enthusiastic and most of all fun!

Simon Di MeoSimon - City Academy - Amplified Choir

Tenor
Self-employed
Amplified member for 18 months

1.Why did you want to join a choir?

I didn’t actually set out to join a choir, but after happening upon a ‘taster session’ on the City Academy website I then signed up for a beginner’s singing course run by Lauren Ronan, the City Amplified MD.

2. What made you choose Amplified?

Through the course I discovered how much I enjoyed singing (not to be confused with singing well!) and when Lauren told us about this rock, pop and indie choir it sounded like the perfect way to continue singing and learning.

3. Most memorable experience so far?

There have been so many great moments but I think the ongoing positive experience of getting together and singing as a group has been a bit of a revelation! When all of the different voice sections combine to hit a harmony there’s no feeling like it! So uplifting!

4. What are you most looking forward to at your next performance?

To see how far we can kick on from the last show. There were massive improvements last time out and I think there is an opportunity to be even better this time as the group progresses.

5. Favourite song you sing with the group?

Am I allowed a fast and a slow number? For a slow one it has to be Paul Simon’s ‘Sound of Silence’. It took us weeks to learn but it was worth it! My favorite up number so far has to be ‘Raise your Glass’ by Pink.

6. If you could describe the choir in 3 words, what would they be?

Inclusive, sociable, joyful.

William CottonWilliam - City Academy - Amplified Choir

Tenor
Financial IT
Amplified member for 9 months

1.Why did you want to join a choir?

I learned to sing on various City Academy courses where I met a fascinating range of people with a similar love of singing. The courses were extremely rewarding, but as they lasted only 8 weeks they did not enable you to get to know your fellow students well or work on the songs in depth. With that in mind I'd been interested in joining a choir and tried several, but none seemed to offer material I really enjoyed - most choirs seemed to lean towards musical theatre, which is not a genre especially close to my heart.

2. What made you choose Amplified?  

I attended a rock and pop singing course taught by Lauren, the MD of Amplified, and at the end of term she invited her class members to join the choir.  The distinctive repertoire was appealing to me, a mix of pop, indie and rock classics from the 60s onwards, which I loved, but also some fun, contemporary pop songs which I hadn't previously appreciated.

3.What's your most memorable experience so far?  

The summer show last year at the Swiss Church in Covent Garden, after the choir had worked hard over the weeks beforehand to memorise and polish our repertoire. A successful dress rehearsal the night before had settled our nerves and helped us believe we were capable of delivering something special. On the night itself, we took the stage after a tense wait; we nailed our first song, Sound of Silence, after which the remaining nerves fell away to be replaced by growing confidence and we were able to enjoy the experience all the way through to the standing ovation! The celebrations afterwards lasted well into the early hours...

4. What are you most looking forward to at your next performance?

There is already a lot of excitement in the choir about our next concert. We have better understanding of what it takes to deliver a great show off book, and the various sections of the choir are already meeting at weekends to polish up their parts. We're looking forward to riding the emotional rollercoaster again, and to delivering a unique and memorable show for our friends and families.

5. Favourite song you sing with the group?  

Champagne Supernova, as arranged by Lauren herself.  Her version avoids the over-elaboration of so many choral arrangements and is powerful, effective, surprising and a joy to sing.  We're also working on the Pentatonix arrangement of A Great Big World/Christina Aguilera's Say Something, which promises to be very special.

6. If you could describe the choir in 3 words, what would they be?  

Sociable, exhilarating, rocking!

Akay OkcunAkay - City Academy - Amplified Choir

Tenor
Dedicated Support Engineer (IT)
Amplified member for 6 months

1.Why did you want to join a choir?

Music has been a big part of my life since a very young age. I've been playing the guitar for around 10 years and I have been performing at open mic gigs with a friend of mine. I also love discovering new bands.

I have always been interested in developing my singing and music reading skills. Joining a casual choir like Amplified has been a very desirable option for me as I got to learn to sing the songs I grew up with, meet like-minded people, and have lots of fun!

2. What made you choose Amplified?

My friend had been in the Amplified choir for a few months before I joined, and she really enjoyed it. After telling me about her experience in the choir, I decided to try the taster session and joined permanently as I also found the whole experience really enjoyable! It also helped me get out of my comfort zone (e.g. performing at the showcases) and meet a really nice bunch of people with similar interest.

3. What are you most looking forward to at your next performance?

I'm very much looking forward to performing all of the 15 songs in our song list! It's such an exciting opportunity to sing our favourite songs in front of hundreds of people, and a great chance to improve our singing and harmonies altogether. 

4. Favourite song you sing with the group?

Simon and Garfunkel - Sound of Silence. It's one of my favourite songs of all time, and we all sound amazing singing it together.

5. If you could describe the choir in 3 words, what would they be?

Fun, exciting and challenging!