Meet Brighton's First Ever Soul Choir
"As our soulful brothers and sisters push the feel good experience alongside Brighton's ever present disco community as we head into 2010, somehow you can't help feeling that good times are back on the musical agenda again"
It was once said by the Spanish playwright Cervantes "He who sings frightens away his woes”
This theory still rings true today as Brighton sees it’s very own community soul choir – Souled Out.
Anyone who has joined a choir will know the feeling of elation experienced after singing in harmony with others. Your troubles are forgotten and you have a greater sense of wellbeing, but a recent study shows there are physical benefits too.
It’s an aerobic activity that improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system and encourages you to take more oxygen into your body, leading to increased alertness. Singing also exercises major muscle groups in the upper body and all these things are linked to stress reduction, longevity and better overall health.
Add to the mix the joy of singing soul music (which in itself is meant to uplift the soul) and you have the perfect way to de-stress and exercise, without even contacting the NHS helpline!
Born from a seed of thought (“Is Brighton ready for a soul choir”) Souled Out is Brighton’s first community soul choir, founded by Neil Masey.
You’ve heard of soul music right? But what exactly is it? Well, its roots are in gospel and rhythm and blues and there are a number of things that define soul music.
Catchy rhythms, handclaps and groove based music are an important feature of soul music.
Other characteristics are a call and response between the soloist and the chorus, and an especially tense vocal sound.
Souled Out specialises in teaching soul music from the 1960s onwards by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire and Donny Hathaway to a diverse group of people.
The roots of the choir are firmly set in Brighton as Neil Masey points out. “Our choir, of almost 80, is made of up people from all corners of the adult community, some have experience of choirs but most have no experience at all”.
Neil continues, “A number of people think ‘I’d love to join but I really can’t sing’, but the truth is we can all sing, it’s about the beauty of the collective sound and the harmonies, not necessarily the individual”
Souled Out meets every Tuesday at St Luke’s Church, Queens Park Terrace at two workshops; 6.45pm and 8.30pm. Renowned music director David Lavale from London’s iGospel group leads the choir accompanied by a keyboardist and they are currently rehearsing for their Christmas concert at The Old Market on Friday Dec 4th.
As Neil puts it “it’s going to be a big night; a polished and professional choir accompanied by a funky live band with DJ’s supporting us and an after party.
Great to see our soulful brothers and sisters pushing the feel good experience alongside Brighton's ever present disco community as we head into 2010, somehow you can't help feeling that good times are back on the musical agenda again.
Boy is Brighton ready for a soul choir”!
Neil Masey 07734 349476