Something to sing about as choir moves to Motherwell

Tommy Chambers with (l-r) Rhonan Kelly, Gemma McCabe , Nicole Bannister and operations manager Jen Phee.
Tommy Chambers with (l-r) Rhonan Kelly, Gemma McCabe , Nicole Bannister and operations manager Jen Phee.

A choir which was invited to perform at the opening of the Commonwealth Games and the SSE Hydro has relocated to Motherwell.

Soundsational was formed in 2010 in Coatbridge after musician Tommy Chambers ran a life skills programme for Rathbone in Glasgow and did an experiment where he taught 12 troubled youngsters to sing.

Tommy said: “I decided to reach out into the community and I put a post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to join a choir in Coatbridge.

“Twelve people turned up, and within six months had won a national award, we then formed a junior choir and had young people singing Moon River and the older people singing Usher to bring the generations together.

“Now we have three choirs - with the seniors a(S5+) and juniors (P7-S4) being joined by Little Soundsational for P1-6.

“There are lots of community choirs, and I’m delighted about that, but the difference is we’re trained by professionals at the top of the their game.

“You don’t come to our gigs because a family member is involved, you come to be entertained, Michelle McManus and Edward Reid have performed with us, and that takes it to a different level.”

Soundsational now has over 100 members aged 5-82 and also provides tuition to all schools in North Lanarkshire and courses for NHS Lanarkshire.

There is also a music academy, with tutors including Gloria Gaynor’s drummer Sandro Ciancio, a youth forum which helps young people with their problems and a volunteers group which has raised over £350,000 for charity.

With all this going on bigger premises were required and South Dalziel Historic Building is now called home.

Tommy said: “We looked at many premises, but having members from all over meant Motherwell’s central location was attractive, and we then fell in love with the building.

“We have an office and recording studio full-time, and the use of a 450-seater auditorium every Wednesday for the choir so it made perfect sense.

“We don’t have terms we are open all year, seven days a week, providing a safe environment, and anyone can join at any time, our aim is to bring down the barriers and make music accessible to everyone.”

For more information visit Soundsational