Did you know that singing in a choir has been proven to lower cortisol, which in turn relieves stress and tension? Endorphins and oxytocin are released by the brain, lowering anxiety levels and enhancing feelings of trust and bonding.
As these feelings have been in short supply during lockdown, we decided it was a great time to catch up with Vauxhall based choir, Real Voices.
Real Voices are a collection of contemporary South London Choirs based in Battersea, Brixton, Clapham, Crystal Palace, Tooting and of course, Vauxhall. Vauxhall is where the first choir started back in 2017. Choir Director, Becky, wanted to create the perfect place for a new, forward-thinking choir, daring you to share your most unique attribute – your voice – in a creative, supportive and fun musical environment.
Catching up with Becky, we discovered why Vauxhall was the perfect place to start her passion project, and why it remains so dear. “On a personal level, I live here, got married here when the registry office was on Kennington Lane and had our reception at the Black Dog… I love living in Vauxhall. For the choir, Vauxhall is home. It’s where our first choir started back in 2017. The weight literally falls off our shoulders when we walk into our rehearsal hall (St Anne’s Community Trust Hall) on a Wednesday night. The space somehow feels hidden away from the busyness of London and has so much history and character.”
Of course, all of the community that the Real Voices team had spent three years creating was placed into sharp perspective at the start of lockdown, which has been tough on them all, as Becky explains, “such a huge part of our choir is coming together to make music with others. That sense of being surrounded in gorgeous harmonies and working with others to create something beautiful is really powerful. We have definitely missed that musical outlet during lockdown. However, we’ve made the best of the situation and have been meeting for weekly online sessions – it’s not the same but still brings our community together, which is another really important aspect of belonging to a choir. This video is a testament to everyone’s desire to stay positive and sing together in whatever way we can”.
As soon as it will be safe to do so though, the team are looking forward to meeting again in Vauxhall and making the most of their neighbourhood. When asked to pick her favourite spot in Vauxhall, Becky couldn’t pin it down to just one, “our rehearsal hall obviously holds a really special place in our hearts. And you can’t beat the pleasure gardens with the amazing Vauxhall City Farm and all the events that go on in the summer (Bearpit Karaoke anyone?) On a musical level, St Peter’s Church has a glorious acoustic so we love performing there.”
If you are interested in joining the guys then why not register here and when the time is right and we can all get back to our new normal Becky will be in touch!