How do your choirs bond as a group?
Our choirs take it in turns to bake for all the other members each week, with all the money raised going towards a charity. This all started to support one of our members when she was diagnosed with cancer, and now she has made a full recovery, the proceeds help different charities. We’ve raised thousands of pounds for a variety of causes – and eaten lots of cake in the process!
Name: Starling Arts
Location: London, UK
Style/Genre: 3 Show Choirs: Pop, Rock and Musical Theatre
Number of singers: Between 20 and 40 per choir
Online www.starlingarts.com on Facebook
Funniest moment in a rehearsal
We once found a snake on the floor of our rehearsal room – luckily before anyone else arrived! We’re also sometimes joined by furrier members such as a cat who sometimes sneaks in at the back!
The most emotional performance moment
Our choirs perform in all sorts of venues, including community settings. We were once singing in a Stroke Ward of a local hospital and a gentleman who had been bed bound and quite severely paralyzed started to tap his toe along to the music. It was a really magical moment that made us realise how powerful music can be, even in tough circumstances.
We always say that “Bad days are made better by singing, and good days are made even more awesome.” We love how singing just makes the good – or bad – better!
We made up a warm up chant called The Feel Good Dance. It comes complete with a few cheesy movements, and does what the title suggests – it make you feel really good!
Most emotional rehearsal moment
We once had the entire choir in tears during a rehearsal for Elton John’s ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’. It was a real bonding moment and gave the song a special edge in performance.
Emily Garsin founded Starling Arts with co-director Anna Shields in 2010, having discovered her love of community musical theatre as a founding member of the inclusive Shine Theatre Group. She gained a first class degree reading English, Drama and Education from the University of Cambridge in 2008 and went on to a master’s degree at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. She has delivered arts education projects in diverse and challenging contexts in London and further afield, including with Old Vic New Voices and English National Opera. Emily directs and choreographs the Starling Arts’ choirs and leads schools, community and corporate workshops. With Anna, she has written three youth musicals which she has directed and choreographed alongside numerous Starling Arts Summer School productions since 2010. See www.starlingarts.com