“Spin The Singer” – Vocal Group 628

From roulette mashup games to spontaneous parodies, this choir knows how to flex their improv muscles!

Something you do with your choir that others might find bizarre or strange!

“Guilty Pleasures Mashup Roulette” – members bring their favorite but most embarrassing songs, and we have to sing them. We put the lyrics on the floor in a circle, 2 people spin around and the songs they point to when we stop, we have to mashup together!


ChoirName:  Vocal Group 628
Location:  Amsterdam
Style:  Soul/Pop/Folk
Number of singers:  20
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What a great idea for singing and bonding! What are some other things that your choir does together?

We eat together before rehearsals, go for drinks afterwards, and during holidays we go to karaoke bars together! We also sometimes organise a “Sing Away” weekend – a mini holiday/singing weekend.

What does a ‘sing away’ weekend look like?

The Sing Away Weekend is a recreational singing opportunity for members of the choir to participate in group workshops focusing on harmony and tuning, and then individual lessons to work on personal goals, in a new location away from home. Our last one was to Lanzo in Italy’s Lake District with 8 of our choir members. We sang on top of a mountain and also performed in the local village.  

What is something you do in rehearsals that surprises new members? 

We improvise! We believe that choir singers should feel free in their expression. It will improve the sound a lot. So during warm ups, rehearsals and performances we improvise.

Any funny improvs in rehearsals?

We once composed our own song about Brexit, Donald Trump, and other funny issues!

Vocal Group 628 singing “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder at their winter concert (2019).

What’s a juicy fact/story that you love to tell your choir members?

The story that Louis Armstrong supposedly dropped his lyrics and that’s how “scat” was invented! Reason: if you forget the lyrics – it’s not the end of the world – make them up and carry on!

Do you have a favorite piece of repertoire?  

‘If I Had The Wings of a Dove’ – a traditional African American song arranged by Rhiannon known for her work as a singer/improviser with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra and for her method: Vocal River.

What makes it a fave?

The harmonies are logical so it’s easy for beginners, but there is lots of space for embellishment and improvisation for more advanced singers.

Any unforgettable performances?

One of our tenors got married and asked the choir to sing during the ceremony. The groom sang an emotional solo piece to his new husband, and everyone there cried: the choir director, the singers and all the guests.

What makes you proud to see in your singers?

Seeing members with serious stage fright perform confidently – and enjoy it!

Any emotional moments in rehearsals?

The most emotional times are when members tell us about how the choir has helped them through the hard times and positively affects their mental and emotional health.

A turning point in the life of your choir?  

In 2016, we welcomed our new director from the U.K. and advertised the group to Amsterdam’s international community. We went from being a small all-Dutch group to a large multicultural group reflecting Amsterdam’s diversity. This then became our unique selling point. The main change was that we grew in numbers, quality, and revitalized the old group!

A favorite inspirational quote

“It’s not the note you play that’s the wrong note – it’s the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong.”

Miles Davis

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