How can you give back to the world through music? While there's probably more than one answer, the UK's Sweet Charity Choir provides an excellent answer to that question. On Monday, July 15 they made their debut stateside at Carnegie Hall, featuring a set list that ranged from the Beatles to Katy Perry and everything in between.
After a video of the choir performing “Come Alive” attracted the attention of True North Presents, Jenny Deacon and the incredible choir she created got to share their incredible message and mission with so many in New York. When Deacon came up with the idea for the choir it was because she wanted to give back to the world through music. At Monday night's concert the proceeds were going to two different organizations here in the US that are advocates for mental illness. The name Sweet Charity is the perfect one for Deacon, her choir, and their band. They created something incredibly special that was an absolute privilege to witness.
It was clear that everyone on the stage was happy to be there and love what they were doing. And, it is evident that Deacon has a connection with her choir and band that is unlike anything else I've ever seen. Through every single song they got better and better, filling the room with their incredible music. It was wonderful to see a choir so united in their singing. Over a mere two hours they spread so much joy to everyone who was lucky enough to be watching.
Highlights of the evening included George Michael's “Freedom,” a theater themed medley entitled Greatest Showman at the Moulin Rouge,” and Clean Bandit’s “Symphony.” We even got to hear Deacon sing “Don’t Worry About Me” by Frances, with two other members of the group. She said when she first heard that song she felt that it was written from choir director. Hearing her sing it, with so much love in her voice, reaffirmed the visible love she has for the choir.
In an unexpected turn of events, everyone in the audience was invited to sing at the end of their Beatles medley. After splitting the audience into three parts, Deacon taught each section the melody, alto, and soprano parts for “Hey Jude.” As the medley began the audience waited for her to turn around and remind us to sing. And when that moment came it was almost magical to be a part of it.
It seemed appropriate that they would finish the concert with the same song that got them here in the first place. While I had heard their performance of “Come Alive” on YouTube, it resonated even more and was more powerful in person. Through their music, the Sweet Charity Choir is a reminder that you can always find light in the power of song. I hope their message will be shared across the world. It's what they deserve and it's something we all could use a chance to experience.