Events & Rehearsals

The Choir

LYGC was set up to enable people who enjoy singing to meet others in a social group whilst developing their music and vocal skills. London is a fantastic mixing pot of people and LYGC celebrates this diversity in a welcoming fun environment. The choir is open to all, requires no auditions and sings uplifting material including Gospel, pop/funk/soul and African traditional.

This has led to various performances including at the House of Commons with David Cameron present, opening the JazzFM Awards Ceremony, supporting Tenors Unlimited, rock bands like Deaf Havana, on stages such as the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire, Royal Festival Hall, Fairfield Halls and in Kensington Gardens, on BBC and ITV and for events like the International Youth Arts Festival and New Voices Festival.

The Singers

We are generally 18 plus, although the term ‘youth’ means that most people in the choir are in their twenties and thirties.

The choir is unauditioned: anyone can join provided they enjoy singing and can sing in tune and hold harmonies. We educate the musical skills of our singers in all forms: vocal, theoretical and performance experience.

The project is fun and inclusive and seeks to uncover the un-tapped talent of London whilst also catering for those who just want to experience singing in a choir and make new friends. There are also opportunities for people to audition for solos, request songs and work in smaller groups.

Our Musical Style

The emphasis of this project is to get people singing together and enjoying themselves. We sing both secular and non-secular music in a 'gospel style' – rich in harmony and full of movement and expression. Our repertoire ranges from gospel classics to jazz, pop, r ‘n’ b, funk, Spirituals and the roots of it all: African Song.

We regularly sing numbers by Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston, Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr, Israel Houghton; and from shows like 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and films like 'The Blues Brothers', 'The Preacher's Wife' and of course both Sister Acts.

Music Team

Naveen Arles

Artistic Director

Naveen Arles has established himself as an energetic and inspirational vocal leader and animateur. His 30 years in music incorporates 20 years of running and creating singing groups of all ages and abilities. Nav is currently directing and artistically advising 14 choirs also including the newly formed Grand Union Orchestra's World Choir and Sanctuary Voices (an arts project for refugees and asylum seekers). He also coordinates and oversees the recording and filming of music projects for various agencies and labels such as Sony BMG and World Concert Artists. Working with all these exciting projects means that Nav is conducting music regularly on all the major stages of London and at some exciting venues from the Houses of Commons to a pod of the London Eye live on radio.

Previous Voicelab (Southbank Centre) sponsorship has helped Nav further his conducting study through the Choral Music Experience Institute (CME) studying directly under Dr Doreen Rao. CME has further connected him with various projects including facilitating vocal workshops for ‘Music for Youth’ as part of their ‘Out of Essex’ schools project and current work with both ARK Schools and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Music Programme.

LYGC has become one of Nav's main projects and he works very hard to ensure that the experience it gives people; the members, the audiences and the clients/partners; is that peace and comfort that music brings us and the reminder that the energy of community is so valuable. He is proud of the immediate home that LYGC provides for so many singers new to London.

Matt Bain

Assistant MD

Matt Bain read music at Christ Church, Oxford where he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in music in 2007, and a Masters in Musicology with distinction in 2008. He went on to study violin performance with Dona Lee Croft at The Royal College of Music, where he won the Lucy Ann Jones and Knights of the Round Table scholarships.

A freelance professional since graduating, Matt was principal second violin with the European Union Youth Orchestra from 2011-2012, and has played with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, his musical ventures having taken him as far as Oman, Moscow, Serbia, Armenia and the United States. He has performed alongside such distinguished musical and non-musical celebrities as Itzak Perlman, Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Cat Stevens, Tom Jones, Moira Stewart and Barbara Windsor.

Adam Gray

Pianist

Adam Gray studied jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in music. He is the organist at Harecourt United Reformed Church in Islington, and plays regularly in London on piano, organ and melodica (and occasionally keytar).

A self-professed gospel music nut, he has worked with several London gospel artists, including at the vigil for the Pope in Hyde Park in 2011.  When not performing Adam is the force behind London music night and media business Get Lifted which was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise in 2013.

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