Where do we come from (a brief history of LVP part 1)
Welcome to the blog of London Vocal Project. We're a choir in London, England, specialising in jazz, groove and contemporary music. For this first post, here's a bit about who we are and where we come from.
We began in 2008. Our MD, Pete Churchill, was teaching at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a London conservatoire with a renowned jazz course. While there, he led a jazz choir, with singers from the jazz course, but also instrumentalists interested in singing, and students from other departments. Pete brought his own compositions and arrangements, and others by composers such as Kenny Wheeler.
Pete decided to leave the Guildhall, but a few students decided they couldn't be without his choir, so they approached him to lead an independent choir.
Students and ex-students from the Guildhall came along, joined by those from other London conservatoires: Trinity, the Royal Academy, Middlesex. We'd all been through the same institutional training, and those of us who'd left education had lost that social support group. As singers, perhaps we don't get to meet other musicians, as you might do in a big band horn section.
In the beginning, the aim was simply to get together every week and sing (and to go to the pub afterwards). Pete had a collection of groove and gospel arrangements he used for community workshops, and they formed a core repertoire with which we could explore how to sing together, and what sound we could make.