The choir leader who attended the spectacular coronation concert described the “electrifying” atmosphere as his LGBTQ+ group gave the biggest performance of their lives.
Samuel Cousins, music director of the actually gay men’s choir, was in the 300-strong coronation choir that dazzled on the round stage in the grounds of Windsor Castle yesterday.
Nineteen members of the Brighton-based choir took part in part of the concert for the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, who stayed vigil.
The diverse ensemble, which also included taxi drivers, RNLI volunteers, farmers from Northern Ireland and NHS staff, sang in front of 20,000 people and millions of spectators around the world.
Some of the amateur groups involved took part in an impromptu singing after the lights went out, taking turns sharing songs in the tent as they waited to leave the site.
“It was absolutely electric,” said Samuel. “Going from performing in local churches to being on stage in front of 20,000 people was out of this world.
“It was inspiring to watch and see the amount of people.
“It sounds strange, but all you can feel is pride, both on and off stage. It was a great way to end the weekend.
The Coronation Choir, which consisted of groups from across the UK that were selected through a process to be filmed for a BBC documentary, shared a line-up with superstars such as Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Take That.
Samuel, who lives with his fiancé in South Heighton, Newhaven, then joined in the impromptu singing while the band members waited backstage for the audience to leave the premises.
The LGBTQ+ group, which was formed in October 2005, performed Bring Him Home with Les Misérables and sipped canned beer as some 280 people gathered in the green room.
The last coronation of King Charles III
The historic coronation of Their Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla took place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May – the celebrations continued until Monday.
For the latest royal updates, visit Metro.co.uk’s coronation page.
Samuel, 36, told Metro.co.uk: “While we were in the green room, each choir was singing a piece from their repertoire or just a piece of music they know and love that was so beautiful to listen to.
“There were all these multi-faith, multi-cultural groups from all walks of life sharing their music.
“We each sang a song we know and love and others joined in, there was a real sense of togetherness.
“Last week we might have felt a little self-conscious about being lumped together, but it was just completely spontaneous, it was absolutely brilliant, just like being in a musical.”
35 members of the choir, created so that gays have a place to socialize, have fun and develop social skills, took part in the preparations for the performance, and 19 people received seats on the stage.
Many of the gathered choirs, including groups such as the Pink Singers, London Cabbies and Unify all-deaf sign performance, are returning home to various parts of the British Isles today.
“There were a lot of exchanges, which really built bridges between different choirs from different backgrounds,” said Samuel.
“Speaking for our own choir, the basic feeling when we were there was that we wanted to make the world better, enjoy each other’s company, and respect and love each other.”
The super choir, which performed a specially commissioned song called Brighter Days, was led by choirmaster Gareth Malone, Strictly Come Dancing judge Oti Mabuse and actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.
As Take That brought the concert to a grand finale with a spirited performance of Never Forget, the gathered voices joined the trio on stage to provide backing vocals.
Speaking to the BBC about the process, Mabuse said: “It’s been really beautiful because I’ve met so many different people who tell so many stories and it’s great to see them on stage because you feel they’re all proud and they all love the atmosphere.” and they are excited to perform in front of so many people.
“But it’s just the feeling of everyone getting together. We’ve all been through everything over the last few years, and there’s a bit of celebration right now.
Millions of people are taking part in Great Relief today, and organizations across the country are celebrating the coronation by lending helping hands to their local communities.
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