Last year, while working on a concept and business plan for our company Artistic Interventions Inc., one Sunday evening I turned on my favorite television station TVOntario and to my delight, there was a BBC program called The Choir: Sing While You Work. Successful British choirmaster Gareth Malone had been presenting a very similar idea to what I was planning to do – bringing choir singing to a workplace. Based on his successful work with children and later with Military Wives, Gareth decided to coach four workplace choirs to sing in a competition.
Their approach was slightly different from ours, as they ‘cherry-picked’ best voices through auditions, and then worked with those to compete against similar choirs from other organization. We in our SingingTouch workshops, on the other hand, don’t differentiate musical or voice capacity or qualities of our clients. At Artistic Interventions Inc. we strongly believe that everyone in an organization can and should have their voice heard and everyone can participate.
Following on from the success of the 2012 series, Sing While You Work had continued in 2013 with the second series, when Gareth Malone formed choirs from the staff of five organizations – P&O Ferries, Birmingham City Council, Sainsbury’s (supermarket giant), Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Citi bank. This reality show allows viewers to follow the process from forming a choir, through rehearsals, building strengths on the musical level as well as human level among colleagues and team-members, up to nerve-wracking competition performances. And although the whole process takes just a few months, many of the participating choirs continue singing together even after the program finished.
Gareth Malone has done a lot of great work promoting choir-singing among amateur singers, showing clearly all those benefits one can gain from actively participating in music making. Our goal is to bring similar opportunities and benefits to our clients here in Canada.