Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Voice Squad busting out a tune

Voice Squad

Tracey Johnson and Claudine Eccleston both love Reggae music and wanted to start a choir singing Reggae, Soul and Funk, writes HOT’s Bev Francis. Between them, they began their own choir and they had some fun sharing songs with friends and singing along to a backing track, but as Tracey told me: “What we were really doing is group karaoke. We had the will, but not the knowhow. That’s until we met Micky”

On a visit to local pub, Tracey and Claudine were impressed by the performance of Michael Grant. With drinks in hand, they began to chat and found out that Michael was already running a choir in Oxted and that he is a professional musician and choir master, trained at The Royal College of Music and with ten year’s teaching experience. Michael currently works as a cabaret entertainer and performs regularly on cruise liners, as well as in many top shows in the West End.

Together, they’ve booked The Owl and Pussy Cat Lounge on Tuesday nights and with a half  dozen members, began to learn some songs. Within a few weeks, the choir grew and now has up to twenty regular members, all with varying degrees of singing ability from the professional to can’t-sing-a-thing!

‘Voice Squad’ have already done a couple of performances: their first was with the Oxted Glee Choir for the Blue Cross Fete.

Michael tells me to “expect ‘Voice Squad’ to start popping up in some unlikely places, flash-mobbing Hastings with some great five part harmony singing.

“There is no better medicine than singing, especially with great friends and like-minded people. Running this choir regularly has become the absolute highlight of my week, especially when it all comes together and sounds so professional – with people who a few months ago told me that they couldn’t sing!

“Everybody can sing, sometimes they just need someone like me to show them how!!

“Anyone over eighteen is welcome to join the choir and although we sing some gospel music, we have no religious agenda of any kind and welcome everyone as equal, fantastic individuals.” 

If you are interested in joining Voice Squad Hastings, they practice on the top floor of The Owl and Pussy Cat Lounge on Tuesdays at 7.30-9.30. £5 per person.

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Posted 07:32 Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 In: Music & Sound

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