As if gospel choirs weren’t amazing enough… The new series of Britain’s Got Talent showcases not one or two powerful voices but a choir of 100!
That’s 100 people from around the world united in one all-singing and all dancing gospel choir.
I am of course talking about 100 Voices of Gospel who belted their way through the audition with “This little light of mine…”
And boy did they shine with judge Alesha Dixon pressing the golden buzzer which guarantees the choir a place in the semi-finals.
I for one love gospel music, so much so, that I’ve already booked Wakefield Community Gospel Choir for my wedding this June.
But Alesha pressing the golden buzzer was much to Simon Cowell’s annoyance as he too had wanted to press the golden buzzer for them.
Well if they got Mr Cowell’s blessing, they must be spectacular.
And the music mogul won’t be too down-hearted as the ratings for the show peaked at 11.6m viewers, the highest figure for 2016.
In recent times with the help of Choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone and, such talent shows, choirs are becoming increasingly popular.
We no longer perceive being in a choir as dull but rather the opposite these days.
Not only do choirs welcome all kinds of singers and non-singers, they’re a great way to socialise and improve lung health.
Professional singer and natural voice practitioner Ali Bullivent, who has run choirs across Yorkshire for 15 years, said: “The benefits of community singing have long been known and until very recently were a natural part of most people’s lives.
“We sang in school, church, round the piano at home or in the pub.
“Now fewer people are singing in these traditional contexts and Community choirs are gaining popularity.”
These choirs are generally open to anyone who loves to sing, there are no auditions and you can join whatever your experience. Ali said: “Practitioners who lead these choirs are interested in developing communities of interest and bringing out the best from people’s natural singing voices.
“Singing has many health benefits both physical and psychological.
“It allows us to express emotions and can often help our mood to be uplifted.
“Singing is proven to help with breathing and lung function and is actually a good physical work-out as it uses many muscles.”
Natural singing encourages the whole body to work and, natural movement and, is based on encouraging us to use our natural voice with a helpful technique. Ali added: “Everyone can enjoy singing and it is an excellent way to bring people together in a fun environment and create a community.
“Singing has always been used to raise morale, for celebration, and our social rituals.
“It is also hugely therapeutic and can be used to diagnose and/or heal a variety of physical and emotional areas of the self.”
And what a strong community and message do the 100 Voices of Gospel share as members are from all corners of the world.
It’ll certainly be a once in a lifetime experience for all them, the choristers, being in the live finals of such a huge show is great PR as well as adrenaline-filled fun which pushes you to your limits.
After I made it through to the finals (back in the day when there was no golden buzzer), I remember what a surreal experience it was performing live on TV in front of 10 million+ viewers. But it sure changed my life and I now have a career in media as well as still working as a professional dancer specialising in Bellydance, Hula, Bollywood, Burlesque, Samba and commercial.
So let’s hope those beautiful 100 voices inspire more people to give singing a go. As Strictly Come Dancing gave rise to people taking up ballroom dancing, I predict BGT will see choirs up and down the country fill up.
For more information on singing for lung health, go to: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/singing-for-lung-health
Ali Bullivent runs a Singing for Lung Health Group at Kings Health Practice in Normanton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire on Tuesday mornings. To contact Ali, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Britain’s Got Talent is on Saturdays , ITV, 8pm.
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BGT: The overview
The dream team of judges – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – once again take their places on the panel, in search of the most astonishing and exhilarating talent around. They are joined by the nation’s favourite TV duo, Ant & Dec, who will be on hand to encourage, congratulate and commiserate the acts whilst guiding the audience through the auditions.
Together they have scoured the country looking for a winning act who can entertain the nation and capture the hearts and imaginations of the Great British public.
Across the series, the acts set to entertain and amuse are a dancing polar bear, a one-man band on stilts, an orchestra with a difference and the most dangerous act we have ever seen. There will also be puppetry and archery with a difference, the world’s fastest tortoise and a magician brave enough to smash Simon’s phone…
All four judges and Ant & Dec will also have the opportunity to give the act they think has that extra special something an automatic place in the live semi-finals with the use of their special Golden Buzzer.
With thousands of people applying, viewers can expect to be amazed and astounded by the remarkable line-up of acts competing to be crowned this year’s winner, securing an incredible £250,000 and the opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Performance 2016.
The past decade has seen some of the most exciting and interesting winners from Paul Potts to Diversity, Ashleigh & Pudsey to Attraction. And it’s not only the winners who have delivered some of our most memorable moments on television; there was singer Susan Boyle, comedian Jack Carroll, magician Darcy Oake and of course, the dog that hypnotised Simon – to name a few. This year’s series is sure to provide even more must see moments.