Doncaster Quirky Choir wanted to bring music to unexpected places and raise a smile or two on people’s faces – and they achieved much more than that when they performed live at the Doncaster Interchange on Monday lunchtime.
The harmonies sung live, with no instruments, made people turn their heads, take pictures and film them. Many people stopped to watch for a few minutes and, at the end of each and every song, the choir’s efforts were greeted with applause.
“When we were contacted by the Doncaster Quirky Choir asking if they could perform live at the interchange we thought it was a great idea”, says South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive Director of Customer Services Tim Taylor.
“Over 1,500 bus services depart from the Doncaster interchange on any weekday, which means hundreds and hundreds of people passing by every day. If we can offer a surprise and bring them some joy with a lively performance from a cheerful and quirky choir, why not?”
Doncaster Quirky Choir member Peter Lawson was thrilled by the public’s response, he said: “It was fantastic! I’ve seen lots of people smiling. People who come through the interchange are busy, going to work or on their way to somewhere., but still, they stopped and smiled, and that’s what we were looking for”.
The Quirky Choir, which started in 1998, is keen to promote the benefits of singing to everyone. Choir founder, Janet Wood explains: “It’s about spreading the word that singing is for everyone. It’s good for your mind, for your health for your soul… it lifts your spirit. Bringing music and song to unusual places is also one of our aims and the interchange is definitely a quirky place!”
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the choir has vowed to take music to quirky places around town this year – they performed at the bottom of the escalators, surrounded by platforms, where the acoustic and a selection of quirky songs created an uplifting atmosphere during a busy time at the interchange.
“The response from passers-by was amazing”, said Shelley Brailsford, another of the singers. “It was so spontaneous. People just couldn’t stop themselves from reacting”.
“I sing in a choir, but mine is not as good as this one”, said one passenger who watched the performance while waiting for her bus.
The Doncaster Quirky Choir meets every week during school terms and is inclusive by nature. There are no auditions to join, no need to read music and an ‘everyone welcome’ approach, regardless of age, ability or experience.