JulieHear an interview with Julie:
Hello, my name is Julie. I've been a choir member since June 2009. I first saw the choir on This Morning. I got in touch with Marie, and she mentioned that she was on the look-out for more soprano singers.
I'm not actually a homeless member nor have I experienced housing issues. I just said I would like to just come as a voluntary singer and Marie was very welcoming to that idea.
It's been a very interesting experience. I think it was good for me to challenge myself and learn pop. We've gone from some recent classical stuff to pop, gospel, musicals, jazz… I think what struck me about this particular choir when I saw them was that they came across as very fresh. Some didn't have any musical training, and I was very impressed by their confidence and their performance, not taking it too seriously, but just getting on with it. Having fun as well. Darren Moore, who is one of the special guest teachers from the Royal Opera House, said that he could hear the friendship amongst the singing. And that was a great compliment.
I think the way that homelessness is portrayed is still very stereotypical. You are out on the streets and ‘it's your own fault’. But you know, having actually heard some of the personal stories, it's due to so many circumstances. It can be just a very simple case of lost a job, lost a home, lost a partner, and it can spiral down into something that's out of your control. And if you don't have a good support network of family and friends you can just end up sleeping rough. So I think it just takes a very clear focus of where you want to be in life. It opened up my eyes and I think by coming to this choir, it helps to bring people out of isolation. For me personally, I think it's been about raising my confidence as a performer. We've had some very good guest teachers who've been here the last month. They've really helped us in gaining experience in different techniques in gospel singing, in classical singing, and soul. So I think for us it's nice to have different workshops.
We've done some really worthwhile things. I'm proud to be part of the choir.