Our History – Vocality to Clapham Chorus

The choir has been together for about 6 years in various guises. It has at its heart a core of members who have been with the choir since its inception and continue to enjoy singing together today. This gives it a distinctive sound, warmth and air of confidence as members support each other in producing the wonderful songs that result. But how did we get here?

Picture of St Barnabas Church, Clapham Common

St Barnabas Church, Clapham Common

March 2010: The choir was originally set up as part of Vocality and run by Sally Duncan who was recruited through Vocality, a branded network of 5 choirs set up by Catherine Dyson and located in South West London and around Surrey (www.vocalitysinging.co.uk). Vocality Clapham began rehearsing in St Barnabas Church, Clapham North Side, but numbers remained low despite online marketing, leafleting, posters and banner advertising.
December 2012: Catherine decided that the choir could no longer continue to be supported by the Vocality infrastructure and Vocality Clapham folded. Sally realised that there was now a hard core of regular members attending rehearsals and who were keen to continue. She secured an agreement with Vocality that enabled her to use the Vocality repertoire and continue running the choir independently, under another name.
Pictures of Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common

Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common

January 2013:  Members of Vocality Clapham met for rehearsals under their new name – Sing It Together. The choir moved to Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common which was much closer to public transport. Sing it Together (SIT) attracted a regular attendance singing four part a cappella harmonies; with up to six singers across the bass, tenor, alto and soprano sections; some wonderful rich harmonies were achieved.
The choir attracted between 20 to 25 members every term and performed in the church or at a local venue (including at a member’s house!) at the end of every term.
Additional opportunities to sing with the Vocality choirs as well as other local choirs were taken up with performances held at;
South Bank Centre Christmas market
Sing for Water fundraising event in The Scoop during Thames Day
local Summer Fair in Furzedown, Tooting
local pub in Balham
Picture of Ascension Church, Balham Hill

Ascension Church, Balham Hill

November 2015: Sing It Together had to find alternative rehearsal space as the church needed the room. Sally secured a church hall at the Church of the Ascension in Malwood Road, Clapham South and was able to maintain the membership, as well as attract new people through the choir’s website, Facebook page and various local online web based forums.
June 2016: Sally announced that she was withdrawing from choir leading to pursue other musical interests.
Choir members stayed in touch and met up socially throughout the summer. Alternative choirs were investigated; however all the local choirs are led by choir leaders who use piano accompaniment and sheet music and are either very large or offered a classical or predominantly English repertoire.
September 2016: A core of choir members agreed to form an action group to investigate reviving the choir and provided some start up funding to support this. The choir was rebranded as Clapham Chorus and constituted to be managed by the members. Clapham Chorus recruited its first choir leader, Louise Raven-Tiémélé and started rehearsing a new repertoire at the Church of the Ascension in Malwood Road, Clapham South.
December 2016: Clapham Chorus joined forces with Southfields Sings and secured a performance slot at Southbank Christmas Market. The Inaugural Christmas Concert raised funds that were donated to Glass Door – a local charity for the homeless.
THE FUTURE: Looks great! Come and be part of it. See our Contact Page.