Royds Withy King’s got talent – our Reciprocate Choir sings their hearts out for a good cause
Our 'Reciprocate' choir members sang their hearts out for charity last night at Blenheim Palace. Choir-member Emily Hughes tells us how this musical event came about, and why:
I was so pleased to sing at this special event organised by Reciprocate – a membership network of businesses in the Oxford area committed to supporting their local community, of which Royds Withy King is a founding member. The event assembled 20 members from various businesses in the network into the ‘Reciprocate Choir’ over the course of one afternoon. The choir then performed in the Blenheim Palace orangery to an audience of local businesses, decision-makers and influencers.
What is the Reciprocate choir singing for?
Staff were encouraged to audition and perform a song of their choice in front of the judging panel – Tracy Norris-Evans, Simon Bassett, Robert Pinheiro and Paola Cuffolo (a professional opera singer who is joining the firm as a trainee in September 2018).
After they’d seen who at ‘Royds Withy King’s Got Talent’ had the right stuff, the Judges had to make some tough choices. After all, “the talent was outstanding” – their words!
The event was organised to raise money for Music for Autism, an Oxfordshire-based charity committed to enhancing quality of life and raising public awareness through autism-friendly, interactive concerts for individuals with autism as well as their families.
The concerts, held in both the United Kingdom and the United States, feature professional musicians. These include Tony Award winners, Grammy-nominated classical artists, and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Jayne Woodley, CEO of Oxfordshire Community Foundation gave special thanks to all those who made the event possible and said:
“I am delighted to be supporting the Reciprocate Choir and Music for Autism again which is an incredible example of what can be achieved when we all work together with purpose.”
(It was alright) On the night
On arrival at the Palace, nerves (and excitement) were high! We had a little bit of time to meet our fellow choristers before we started practice with music maestro and charity founder John Lubbock OBE as well as talented musician, Derek Paravicini. Both were wonderful to work with and very patient considering this was a first time performance for many of us.
We sang 8 songs in total (2 of which were Latin). The choir ranged from those who were professionally trained, to those who just sang in the shower!
We finished rehearsals early because John Lubbock was so 'impressed' with our capabilities, meaning we had some time to explore the palace grounds before having access to the Spencer Churchill rooms to prepare ourselves for the evening.
After all of the harmonising and sightseeing, we were ready to showcase our talent. There was a definite buzz in the air as the palace orangery filled with the evening’s guests.
To the acclaim (and amazement) of our colleagues, the performance went off without a hitch. To embody the values of Reciprocate, and to echo Jayne Woodley’s words, it really was an incredible example of what we can achieve when we all work together. With the pressure off our shoulders we were able to relax and enjoy both the dinner and the company that followed.
It really was a wonderful evening and a unique experience for those of us who were first time public performers.
Myself, Michaela and Katie would like to say thank you to Reciprocate for putting on a spectacular event for an even better cause, and finally a huge well done to our fellow choir members. It was a really fun evening full of laughter and of course, singing!
Next up in the charity calendar, we will be sponsoring the ‘Great British Bike Off’. This is Oxfordshire’s first customised bike festival which aims to support the Ark-T Centre: a project that aims to increase wellbeing and personal resilience for people facing multiple disadvantages.