Devs Singers were initially formed in 2012 by Eileen Macqueen as part of Devonshires’ corporate social responsibility programme.
Eileen is assisted in the running of the choir by Alice Overton – who managed to recruit me at the Introductory drinks even before my first day of work – and Simon Worley who is our deeds clerk and resident pianist. 18 months on and the choir is now 12 members strong and always growing.
The members of Devs Singers span the different departments of the firm and include partners, paralegals, solicitors, trainees and support staff. As someone who is fairly new to the firm, I have found it a great way to meet other members of staff and have fun. Music provides some light relief in contrast to the work we do on a daily basis.
Devs Singers is open to all abilities and our members have a fairly mixed level of musical experience. About half of the members have previous choral experience and are able to read music, whilst others, including myself, haven’t sung since school! I have certainly learnt a lot about singing from the more experienced members of the choir but we are very much a team and work hard to listen to each other and sing as an ensemble.
We aim to get together and practise every other week and have a space at work where we are able to do this. On occasion we also make use of a local church hall where we have access to a piano. We consider ourselves to be quite ambitious in our song choices and have tackled some classical pieces as well as more modern upbeat songs. This is hopefully reflected in our song choices for the Legal Harmony competition.
Although the choir is relatively new, we’ve achieved a fair bit in a short time. In the past six months alone we have undertaken concerts at Basildon Women’s Aid, Salisbury House, The Cannons in Colchester and the AvMA Festival of Music on the Strand. The latter was our first big concert and we sang ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘All I have to do is Dream’. Christmas 2013 was a particularly busy period for us with numerous performances, including our first Devonshires carol concert’ and carol singing in Liverpool Street with the charity, Action for Kids.
Our chosen charity for the competition is Theatre Royal Stratford East which is a great fit for the musical event. The theatre aims to deliver exciting and diverse work reflecting the experiences of the local community, while discovering and developing new talent and new audiences. Devonshires participates in fundraising activities as well as undertaking volunteer work for the charity. We will be supported on the night by representatives from the charity.
We’re all really looking forward to 15th May!
Rachel Orgill is a trainee solicitor at Devonshires Soliciors