Episode 4 The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain


Episode 4

Members of a beatbox academy, an NHS choir and a group of Reading sixth-formers compete for a semi-final place.


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Transcript


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# Sometimes I feel like putting my hands up in the air... #

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# Baby, tell me your name... #

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Last year, Gareth Malone set out to find

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the country's most gifted amateur a capella group.

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# 21 seconds to go... #

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The winner of the Naked Choir is The Sons Of Pitches.

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SCREAMING

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This year, Gareth's widened his search,

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opening the contest to groups from all musical traditions...

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# Way, haul away We'll haul away, Joe... #

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..in a search for Britain's very best community choir.

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# Oh, baby, baby How was I supposed to know? #

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We are a singing nation...

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# ..Lost in music... #

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..and I'm looking for choirs that have heart and flavour and passion

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that say something about what it is to be British.

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-Hundreds of groups applied.

-# I want to be the only one... #

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Now Gareth's travelling the length and breadth of Britain

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to audition those who impressed him the most.

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-Shall we go and meet Gareth?

-CHEERING

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He's seeing choirs from four parts of the UK...

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-Hello, Scotland!

-Hello!

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-ALL:

-Sss...

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# ..Out there... #

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..and will pick just one from each of those areas...

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-For the South-west.

-For the South-west.

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..to go head-to-head in a national contest...

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Good evening, London!

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..where they'll battle it out

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to be crowned Britain's best amateur choir.

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The winner is...

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MUSIC: LDN by Lily Allen

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I love London. There's so many different types of music here,

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there's so much going on.

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I can't leave my front door without hearing someone singing in London.

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What was I thinking?

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Gareth's hitting the road in the South-east,

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on the final leg of his search.

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This has been an utterly epic journey. I've done over 3,000 miles

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and I've seen so many different fantastic groups.

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I'm looking for choirs that have got flavour and regional variety

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and interest and colour and heart.

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For his first stop, Gareth's heading to south London.

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The Battersea Arts Centre has been nurturing local talent

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for over 100 years.

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Guys, just keep it in time, keep your energy up.

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-We want to blow Gareth's socks off.

-Yeah, yeah.

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The Beatbox Academy is the only choir in the competition

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where beatboxers outnumber singers.

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It was set up eight years ago by teacher Conrad.

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After I left school, I had no GCSEs or qualifications or nothing

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and it was my dream. My dream was to work here.

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I live on an estate down the road

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and I wanted it to be a bit more hip-hop, a bit more street,

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to appeal to people like me.

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There's no audition to come in. It's inclusive.

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You don't need a classically trained musical background or lessons.

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I'm really looking forward to this, to seeing a beatbox choir.

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'I'm really keen to find groups that use singing as a tool

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'to make themselves stand taller and say something about who they are.'

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-Hello, good to meet you. You're the Beatbox Academy.

-ALL: Yeah.

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Very excited to meet you.

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Totally different from everything else I've seen on my travels.

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-Let's hear some music.

-No, bruv.

-LAUGHTER

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When people come in, they got to show us

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-a bit of their beatboxing first.

-OK.

-We need to know where you're at.

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-I'm actually... I'm now nervous.

-LAUGHTER

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THEY BEATBOX

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GARETH BEATBOXES

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This is a massive deal for me, massive.

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This is like my life's work.

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It was my dream to start The Beatbox Academy

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and now Gareth Malone is going to see what we're doing

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and be able to help us develop and, hopefully,

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be impressed by what we're doing because we love music.

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# Ooh! Ooh!

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THEY BEATBOX

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GARETH BEATBOXES

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APPLAUSE

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It's really fun, isn't it? It's really fun.

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Hearing other people's sounds, you're like, "I want to do that."

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It's really good. Tell me a bit about your group.

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I know people that have come with no qualifications, nothing,

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that have been kicked out of school and they've come here

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and been able to have something they can actually focus on.

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If you've been told, "You're rubbish, you've got no grades",

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when you come here, it's like, "You're great at something."

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And it gives them that positive outlook.

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Do you think it's that dramatic,

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that music can pull people back from the edge like that?

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Totally, totally. 100%.

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We've had so many people come in, troublemakers,

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and it's like their life has changed completely.

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You could be talking about guns and drugs

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and talking about peace and love now.

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We're here to make music and also to be friends.

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That must feel really good, to know that the group that you started

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is making this kind of impact. Let's hear some music.

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-# The scars of your love remind me of us

-Ooh, ooh

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-# They keep me thinking that we almost had it all

-Ooh, ooh

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-# The scars of your love They leave me breathless

-Ooh, ooh

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-# I can't help feeling

-Ooh, ooh

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# We could have had it all BEATBOXERS BACK LYRICS

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# Rolling in the deep BEATBOXERS BACK LYRICS

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# You had my heart inside of your hand BEATBOXERS BACK LYRICS

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# And you played it to the beat. # BEATBOXERS BACK LYRICS

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-Well done! Very good!

-APPLAUSE

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This has been really good and it's lovely what you're doing, Conrad.

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-I heartily, heartily applaud it.

-Cheers, thanks.

-Thank you. Bye-bye.

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'This is where I hope to be - somewhere a little bit dusty'

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in a community arts centre, finding people doing really good work.

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Things that are good. This is all heart

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and it's skill. It's got the two magic ingredients.

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It's expressive, it's fun, it's contemporary.

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I think it's great.

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If we get called back, I will scream.

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I will literally break down and be, like, "Argh!"

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MUSIC: Anything Goes by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

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GARETH WHISTLES

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Next stop, London's vibrant West End.

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-Morning.

-Hello, Gareth, how are you?

-I'm very well. How are you?

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Brilliant, thank you, yeah.

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-Song in your heart?

-Yes, very much so.

-That's good to hear.

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We'll have to get together one day to do a black cab choir.

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It would be the pride of London.

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It's such an exciting place here. I really love it.

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It's where dreams are made and broken.

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The glitz and glamour of London's 39 theatres

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attracts thousands of hopeful actors,

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desperate for their big break.

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Five of them have formed a group called The Littlewoods.

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We've all wanted to be on the stage

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or HAVE been on the stage at some point, haven't we?

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The dream is definitely to act professionally.

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THEY CLICK RHYTHM ON FINGERS AND BANG CUPS

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-I always used to want to be in Fame.

-Serena.

-Serena, yes!

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-Yes!

-Serena from Fame.

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I love the cheesy musicals, a bit of showbusiness - all that stuff.

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THEY CLICK FINGERS AND TRILL

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Although the starring role in the West End has so far eluded him,

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usher Joshua still hasn't lost his determination

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to make it as an actor.

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Working in the theatre is bittersweet.

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It's great to watch them, because it's what you love

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but you get so angry when they do something that you could do better.

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-Yes.

-And we could.

-We could.

-We could and we will.

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-# When I'm gone

-When I'm gone

-When I'm gone

-When I'm gone... #

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You've got to be motivated and you've got want it badly enough.

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If you don't have the passion, it won't keep you going

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through those years of people saying no

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for that one person to say yes.

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THEY CLICK FINGERS AND BANG CUPS ALL: # I'm gone

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# You're gonna miss me when I'm gone, whoo! #

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-Whay! How long did THAT take you to learn?

-Months!

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-Can you teach it to me?

-Yeah, of course.

-I want to learn.

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So, it goes clap, grab, hand, table, hold, grab, clap.

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LAUGHTER

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-I was close, right?

-Yes, so close.

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-That's quite complicated, actually.

-Yeah.

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So, do you all work in theatreland?

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Yeah, we all met working at front of house at a theatre in the West End.

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We were all ushers together before we started singing together.

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Is it partly about just having some company

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and still keeping your hand in?

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I think, originally, it was just for fun,

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but we loved it so much, it just carried on and snowballed

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-and we thought, "Let's do this song."

-And it became a set.

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And it became a show and people wanted to see us do it.

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-Now it's a show?

-Now it's a full-blown show.

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-Shall we see it?

-Yeah, sure.

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-# Oh, I would wait forever

-Wait forever

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-# Exalted in the scene

-Ooh, in the scene

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-# Just as long as I am with you... #

-That's nice. That's nice.

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-# My heart continues to beat

-My heart will beat

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-# If you gave me a chance I would take it

-Ooh

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-# It's a shot in the dark but I'll make it

-Ooh

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-# Know with all of your heart you can't shake me

-Ooh

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# When I am with you

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# There's no place I'd rather be. #

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-Thank you.

-LAUGHTER

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You seem like a group of people well used to auditioning.

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-Yeah.

-"Thank you for your time."

-Next.

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'I think they've got potential as a group

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'but they've taken a really upbeat, lively pop song'

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and taken all the life out of it and I think that's a real shame.

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When I walked in and they were doing the cup song, that was great.

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The physical thing with the cup, to sing in harmony and it was together,

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-I thought that was really good.

-I think it's time for a pizza.

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LAUGHTER

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For his third stop, Gareth's heading west to the outskirts of Reading

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to meet the youngest choir to enter the competition.

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I really enjoyed school choir. I loved it.

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I miss it, actually. I miss singing every single morning.

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But I think part of the reason I'm so evangelical

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about singing and the effect that it can have on you

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is the effect it had on me and that started when I was in school choir.

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Right, let's get our bodies warmed up.

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Let's do the funky chicken.

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Set up two and a half years ago,

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the Bulmershe Ensemble is a labour of love

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for Sarah, the school's assistant head teacher.

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That idea of taking a group of children

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and inspiring them through music and through innovative arrangements,

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making them love singing in a choir and making it cool and hip

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was something that I've always wanted to be able to do.

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The Bulmershe School is a mixed comprehensive

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with over 1,000 pupils.

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Its senior choir of 16 to 18-year-olds has won awards

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locally and nationally.

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We sing arrangements that they love

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and songs that they love and we sing with a bit of attitude.

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ALL: # One, two, three, four, five, four, three, two, one. #

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Oh, my gosh, I'm meeting Gareth Malone today.

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But I'm so excited. I'm not really nervous, I'm just excited.

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All of the students I'm here to see today, in the choir,

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are in the middle of their exams,

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so they'll be hugely feeling the pressure

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and I'm just here to add to that.

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-Hello! Good morning!

-ALL: Morning.

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Can you tell me a bit about yourselves? What makes you come...?

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Presumably you do this of your own free will?

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LAUGHTER

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-Yeah?

-The reason I do it is because I don't have very much confidence

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and it's a really positive atmosphere

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cos lots of them do have lots of confidence

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-and it's like a really good influence on me.

-Yeah.

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-Has singing made a difference?

-Yeah.

-The fact that you're talking now...

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-Is this big?

-That's big!

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Here you are, talking to me. Well done.

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Are you all in the middle of exams at the moment?

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-I've got one at 1.30 today.

-You've got one at 1.30?

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You're kidding! Let's crack on then.

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HE PLAYS INTRO TO GHOST BY ELLA HENDERSON ON PIANO

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# I keep going to the river to pray

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# Cos I need something that can wash out the pain

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-# And at most

-I'm sleeping all these demons away

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# But your ghost

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-# The ghost of you

-It keeps me awake

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ALL: # I keep going to the river to pray

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# Cos I need something that can wash out the pain

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# And at most, I'm sleeping all these demons away

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# Cos your ghost

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# The ghost of you, it keeps me awake. #

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-Wow!

-LAUGHTER

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That was great!

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That was really, really great.

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Great choice of song, but you enhanced it, I thought.

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You have a secret weapon there.

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I heard a few little jazzy chords there. I was enjoying that.

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Be aware of just overblowing at times, on the belt,

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but that's a minor quibble.

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'I found that very moving. When so many kids'

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are wasting their time or wasting their teenage years,

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they're actually making something of their school experience.

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They volunteering to do it at lunchtime

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and that's brilliant.

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But can they actually hack it?

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This is a lot of work for them if I put them through.

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Group hug!

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If we get the call to tell us we're through to the next round,

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I'd be extremely proud. I have a habit

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of screaming down the phone at people, so, um, beware.

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There's such a romance about the sea - the smell of the salt

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and the wind in your face. It's great!

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It makes you glad to be alive, being out here. It's beautiful.

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Ahoy there!

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Totally ignored me!

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With two more choirs in the South-east to audition,

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Gareth's come to Portsmouth

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to meet the second sea shanty group in the contest.

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I have a soft spot in my heart for shanties

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because they're songs of ordinary people.

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Being down here, you can sense that. You see the old buildings...

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You can just imagine this full of sails.

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At one time, this would have been filled,

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not with the sound of diesel, but with the sound of singing.

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And there are still people singing shanties here today.

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I'm off to meet a group who are keeping that tradition alive.

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The Portsmouth Shantymen are a group of lifelong friends

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who started singing shanties together in the 1970s.

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It's really exciting to meet somebody like Gareth.

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He comes across as a nice guy, which is a good start.

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-I think there is a bit of steel in there.

-I'm sure there is.

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The thing that worries me most is he might use terminology

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-and we don't use names like "Notes".

-You mean musical terminology.

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LAUGHTER

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The latest member to climb aboard is 27-year-old barman Oliver.

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I'm the youngest in the group, I don't know if you can tell.

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But, yeah, it's been a great couple of years.

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Singing shanties is not cool, I don't think.

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'But it's really important to keep this alive, it really is.'

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Really, we do it for the fun. We like the harmony that's in it,

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and you just get one hell of a buzz.

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Everyone loves to sing and it's all about the feeling

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as well as the song, I guess.

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For Gareth to select us to come this far and be part of this

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is really an honour anyway, but to be doing it for Portsmouth,

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there is a massive amount of pride.

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ALL: # Sittin' by the river on the levee

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# Waitin' for the steamer to come down

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# Cotton mills are loadin' mighty heavy

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# For miles and miles and miles around

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# I thought I heard the steamer when she landed

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# Landed on the levee below

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# I'm sittin' by the river on the levee

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# Waitin' for the steamer to come down

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# Moses standin' by the Red Sea shore

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# Smitin' that water with his two by four

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-# Who built the ark?

-Brother Noah, Noah

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# Brother Noah built the ark. #

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Great! Very nice to meet you. How are you doing?

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-Well, we think we're doing well for our ages.

-You are.

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-Ollie's all right.

-He looks all right.

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And what made you join these elder statesmen of the shanty world?

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-We didn't MAKE him!

-Pete asked me a couple of years ago

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to come and be the young blood, the new recruit.

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-The next generation of Shantymen?

-Possibly, yeah.

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I mean, it was very together.

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You looked like you were having fun and that was charming.

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Dynamically, it was all loud,

0:16:560:16:59

and I wonder if the shanties

0:16:590:17:01

and the kind of "Haul away" feel has infected your other bits of singing.

0:17:010:17:07

You don't actually need to shout the whole thing.

0:17:070:17:10

LAUGHTER

0:17:100:17:12

I love that they are doing this. I love the tradition of sea shanties.

0:17:120:17:15

-# Little Sally Racket

-Haul her away... #

0:17:150:17:19

I am looking for people that represent the region

0:17:190:17:22

and I feel like those guys absolutely represent this region.

0:17:220:17:24

They're from Portsmouth, they've got the right sound,

0:17:240:17:27

they are shantymen and they've been singing these shanties for 40 years.

0:17:270:17:30

-# ..Haul-e-high-o

-Haul her away. #

0:17:300:17:33

-Oh, it's not quite done.

-LAUGHTER

0:17:330:17:37

It's rough around the edges but what shanty was ever sung beautifully?

0:17:370:17:42

It's just whether or not I want that for the contest.

0:17:420:17:45

The final stop on Gareth's tour is in the garden county of Kent.

0:17:490:17:54

I'm hoping for one last gem today,

0:17:540:17:57

something a little bit different.

0:17:570:17:58

Darent Valley is a busy general hospital near Dartford,

0:17:580:18:03

serving around 340,000 people.

0:18:030:18:06

And thanks to a special group of singers,

0:18:060:18:08

the patients here have a reason to be cheerful.

0:18:080:18:11

Up, up, up. Let's go through everything we've done

0:18:110:18:14

over the last couple of months.

0:18:140:18:16

Deputy Director of Strategy Leslieann has been at the helm

0:18:160:18:19

of the hospital choir for just over two years.

0:18:190:18:23

I don't read music, I don't play an instrument,

0:18:230:18:25

I'm not the best of singers.

0:18:250:18:27

I don't really know how, but I ended up leading the choir.

0:18:270:18:30

I wanted it to be very inclusive,

0:18:300:18:31

so it didn't matter whether you could sing or not,

0:18:310:18:34

it didn't matter if you understood music.

0:18:340:18:36

If you just enjoyed singing along to a song in the shower

0:18:360:18:39

or humming a tune, come and join it.

0:18:390:18:41

This was about morale boosting.

0:18:410:18:43

It's just nice to mix with people who do other roles in the hospital.

0:18:430:18:46

They're not going to ask you for results or reports.

0:18:460:18:49

You get to spend some social time. It's actually quite good fun.

0:18:490:18:52

But today, we've all been a bag of nerves.

0:18:520:18:54

We can't believe it. We really are very excited.

0:18:540:18:57

-# Oh, what a night

-Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba

0:18:570:19:00

-# You know, I didn't even know her name

-Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba

0:19:000:19:04

-# But I was never gonna be the same

-Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba

0:19:040:19:08

# What a lady, what a night

0:19:080:19:11

# I felt a rush like a rolling ball of thunder

0:19:110:19:15

# Spinning my head around and taking my body under

0:19:150:19:19

# Oh, what a night

0:19:190:19:22

# Why did it take so long to see the light?

0:19:220:19:25

# Seemed so wrong but now it seems so right

0:19:250:19:30

-# What a lady, what a night

-Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo

0:19:300:19:34

# Doo-doo-doo, oh, what a night. #

0:19:340:19:36

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:19:360:19:39

Very good! Thank you very much!

0:19:390:19:42

You're certainly livening up the hospital.

0:19:420:19:45

-How long's this been going?

-The choir, in this format,

0:19:450:19:48

-has been going probably for about four or five years now.

-Great.

0:19:480:19:50

Historically, we've performed at Christmas time.

0:19:500:19:53

It's probably the most stressful and busiest time of the year.

0:19:530:19:56

-Because it's winter?

-Winter, and people get sicker and it's busier.

0:19:560:19:59

It's always different if you come in as a patient.

0:19:590:20:01

-Have you been patients here?

-Mmm.

-Have you?

0:20:010:20:04

I am a specialist midwife, recently diagnosed with breast cancer,

0:20:040:20:09

and now receiving care from the wonderful NHS that I love dearly

0:20:090:20:14

and I know they are doing the best, the best they can.

0:20:140:20:18

What is it like, at the moment, to work in the NHS?

0:20:180:20:21

It is a really difficult environment to work in.

0:20:210:20:23

It's stressful, resources are stretched thinly,

0:20:230:20:26

we are short of staff, but morale remains high

0:20:260:20:29

because everyone is so passionate about the work that we do.

0:20:290:20:32

If you won the lottery tomorrow, you'd still come to work?

0:20:320:20:34

-Probably.

-Maybe not full-time, in all fairness, but we'd still come.

0:20:340:20:38

-Now and again, yeah.

-LAUGHTER

0:20:380:20:40

I certainly know that a few of us will have really tough days,

0:20:400:20:43

but you know you've got the choir to look forward to at lunchtime

0:20:430:20:46

-and it's an hour when you can forget and...

-Cut loose.

-Yeah.

0:20:460:20:49

"Cheer up" is the message of this choir, isn't it?

0:20:490:20:53

"Cheer up, don't worry about it. We're here and we're here for you!"

0:20:530:20:56

And that's very clear. Stick at it cos it's lovely.

0:20:560:20:59

-ALL: Thank you.

-Keep up the good work.

0:20:590:21:01

Good luck to you.

0:21:010:21:03

'I walked in'

0:21:030:21:05

and I saw their faces and I saw their dancing,

0:21:050:21:07

and I saw all the people around,

0:21:070:21:09

stood smiling and watching them and enjoying it,

0:21:090:21:12

and I thought, "This is lovely. This is just... This is just lovely."

0:21:120:21:17

-NHS.

-ALL: NHS! CHEERING

0:21:170:21:20

When you go into hospital, it can be desperate

0:21:200:21:23

and you meet people there who are so dedicated to you

0:21:230:21:26

and that's so wonderful, and seeing them sing

0:21:260:21:28

and have fun and let off a bit of steam, I can't not like it.

0:21:280:21:31

It would be wrong, it would be wrong to not like that.

0:21:310:21:35

It would mean everything to us. We have worked so hard

0:21:350:21:38

and to represent the NHS would be just absolutely fabulous.

0:21:380:21:42

With all five auditions from the South-east complete,

0:21:480:21:52

Gareth must now pick which three he wants to hear sing again.

0:21:520:21:56

'This has been a big week.

0:21:560:21:58

'The standard's been very high in the South-east.'

0:21:580:22:01

-# She pawned my best blue jacket

-Haul her away... #

0:22:010:22:05

There's been a huge variety of groups,

0:22:050:22:08

from very traditional to ultra-modern.

0:22:080:22:11

# ..I can see you crystal clear... #

0:22:110:22:14

'And it's just been great fun to get out there

0:22:140:22:16

'and meet these community groups

0:22:160:22:18

'that are singing with such a sense of purpose and integrity.'

0:22:180:22:21

# December, 1963... #

0:22:210:22:24

'It's great for my final week of going round the UK

0:22:240:22:27

'to find these groups who are actually managing to surprise me.'

0:22:270:22:31

-# Yeah

-Yeah...#

0:22:310:22:35

'The difficulty now is that I've got to choose one of those

0:22:350:22:38

'to represent this region.'

0:22:380:22:41

That's not an easy decision to make.

0:22:410:22:42

I think each one has something to offer.

0:22:420:22:44

What a great space!

0:22:570:22:58

-HE CLAPS

-# Ah. #

0:22:580:23:01

What I want is a group that gets better under the pressure

0:23:010:23:05

and some of them will. Someone will fly today.

0:23:050:23:09

Gareth has invited his three favourite choirs

0:23:090:23:12

to Stanley Hall in south London.

0:23:120:23:14

He's looking for the most promising to mentor,

0:23:140:23:17

as they go forward in the contest.

0:23:170:23:19

The first place in the sing-off goes to a group

0:23:190:23:22

who I think did something rhythmically incredibly complicated,

0:23:220:23:25

whilst also singing in five parts at the same time.

0:23:250:23:28

Really impressed me with their level of security as performers.

0:23:280:23:32

That is The Littlewoods.

0:23:320:23:35

We didn't start competitive, but the further we get,

0:23:350:23:38

-the more we're like, "No."

-We can do this.

-We really want this now.

0:23:380:23:42

The next group that I'm bringing back

0:23:420:23:44

surprised me with some of their sounds.

0:23:440:23:46

They've got a real tight musical ensemble.

0:23:460:23:48

And that's The Beatbox Academy.

0:23:480:23:50

We're feeling pride and pressure because it's our patch.

0:23:500:23:54

This is just down the road for all of us,

0:23:540:23:57

so we need to nail it.

0:23:570:23:59

The third group that I've chosen, I was not expecting to be great.

0:24:000:24:03

They really surprised me.

0:24:030:24:05

Great vocals, they'd chosen a great song, really good vibes,

0:24:050:24:09

and that is the Bulmershe Ensemble.

0:24:090:24:11

Being down to the last three in the South-east is amazing.

0:24:120:24:16

To go on to represent the South-east would just be unbelievable.

0:24:160:24:20

Today, I want a high level of performance,

0:24:210:24:24

but I also want great skill.

0:24:240:24:27

I want to see things really musically polished.

0:24:270:24:30

-Hello!

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:24:310:24:35

-Hello!

-All: Hello!

-Congratulations to you all.

0:24:350:24:39

It's very good to see you. Are you ready to blow me away today?

0:24:390:24:42

ALL: Yes!

0:24:420:24:44

The fact that you are here at this stage

0:24:440:24:46

means you've done incredibly well, because hundreds applied

0:24:460:24:49

and it now comes down to you three in this region.

0:24:490:24:52

Today is where it starts to get serious and competitive.

0:24:520:24:55

Bulmershe Ensemble, Beatbox Academy, off you go,

0:24:550:24:59

because, Littlewoods, you are up first.

0:24:590:25:02

Coming here and, in the cold light of day,

0:25:020:25:04

standing in a room you don't know

0:25:040:25:06

and performing without accompaniment,

0:25:060:25:09

that's a real challenge, and so that means it's wide open.

0:25:090:25:12

THEY CLICK RHYTHM ON FINGERS AND PAT RHYTHM ON THIGHS

0:25:120:25:15

# I live my day as if it was the last

0:25:150:25:17

# I live my day as if there was no past

0:25:170:25:20

-# Doin' it

-All night, all summer

0:25:200:25:22

-# Doin' it

-The way I wanna

0:25:220:25:24

# I'm-a dance my heart out till the dawn

0:25:240:25:26

# But I won't be done when morning comes

0:25:260:25:28

-# Doin' it

-All night, all summer

0:25:280:25:31

-# Gonna spend it

-Like no other

0:25:310:25:34

ALL: # Whoa

0:25:340:25:38

# Whoa

0:25:380:25:42

# I'm-a dance my heart out till the dawn

0:25:420:25:44

# But I won't be done when morning comes

0:25:440:25:46

# Doin' it all night, all summer

0:25:460:25:48

# Gonna spend it like no other

0:25:480:25:51

# A-a-a-ah

0:25:510:25:54

-# A-a-a-ah

-Second time is one too late. #

0:25:540:25:59

Great, well done. Thank you so much. Off you go.

0:26:000:26:03

I thought there were lots of things to be positive about there.

0:26:030:26:06

There was a good energy, lots of ideas.

0:26:060:26:08

Maybe one or two too many.

0:26:080:26:11

Did everyone get the harmonies at the end?

0:26:110:26:13

I don't know if the routine was a bit too crazy and a bit too much.

0:26:130:26:17

We really, really want to go through, so I hope he liked it.

0:26:170:26:21

The next group hoping to impress Gareth, The Beatbox Academy.

0:26:210:26:24

BEATBOXED RHYTHM

0:26:240:26:26

# Can you feel it coming in the air tonight?

0:26:260:26:32

# Oh, Lord

0:26:320:26:36

# I've been waiting for this moment for all my life

0:26:360:26:41

# Ooh

0:26:410:26:44

# I was there when I saw what you did

0:26:440:26:49

-# I saw you with my own two eyes... #

-They're so good.

0:26:490:26:54

-# But wipe off that grin

-Ooh

0:26:540:26:56

-# I know where you've been

-Ooh

0:26:560:26:58

-# It's all been a pack of lies

-Ooh

0:26:580:27:01

BEATBOXED "DRUMBEAT"

0:27:010:27:04

# I can feel it coming in the air tonight

0:27:040:27:10

# Oh, Lord

0:27:100:27:13

# Ooh. #

0:27:130:27:16

GARETH BEATBOXES

0:27:160:27:18

LAUGHTER

0:27:180:27:20

Thank you very much. Well done.

0:27:200:27:22

HE BEATBOXES THE RHYTHM OF 'COMING IN THE AIR TONIGHT' BY PHIL COLLINS

0:27:230:27:27

Loved it! Brilliant! I mean, not perfect.

0:27:270:27:30

It started a little bit shakily, but it really has got something.

0:27:300:27:33

-Whoa!

-Well done, guys.

0:27:330:27:35

Take us on, take us on, Gareth.

0:27:350:27:38

Last to perform, the Bulmershe Ensemble.

0:27:390:27:43

THEY BEAT OUT RHYTHM ON LEGS AND THE FLOOR

0:27:430:27:47

ALL: # Come take my hand

0:27:470:27:49

# I won't let you go

0:27:490:27:50

# I'll be your friend

0:27:500:27:52

# I will love you so deeply

0:27:520:27:55

# I will be the one to kiss you at night

0:27:550:27:58

# I will love you till the end of time

0:27:580:28:02

# Get up on it Show me that you really want it

0:28:020:28:04

# I wanna be the one to love you Baby, let's go

0:28:040:28:06

# Whoa, whoa

0:28:060:28:10

# Say you'll never let me

0:28:100:28:12

# Say you'll never let me

0:28:120:28:13

-# Say you'll never let me go

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:130:28:15

-# Say you'll love me

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:150:28:17

-# Till the end of time

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:170:28:19

-# Come take my hand, I won't let you go

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:190:28:21

-# I'll be your friend

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:210:28:24

-# I will love you so deeply

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:240:28:26

-# Come take my hand

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:260:28:27

-# Take you away

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:270:28:29

-# From here

-Say you'll never let me

0:28:290:28:31

# Say you'll never let me go

0:28:310:28:33

# Say you'll never let me go

0:28:330:28:35

# Say you'll never let me go. #

0:28:350:28:37

Finished? Well done. Thank you. Very good!

0:28:380:28:43

Their harmonies are great, their ideas are great,

0:28:430:28:46

they've got an incredible energy, they're really buzzing

0:28:460:28:49

and they're, they're hungry.

0:28:490:28:51

I don't think it was perfect and I don't think

0:28:510:28:54

anyone has delivered a perfect performance today.

0:28:540:28:57

This is difficult, to come in here and give your absolute A game

0:28:570:29:00

is really hard, and that's what the contest is for.

0:29:000:29:02

I couldn't have believed this time last week

0:29:020:29:04

that would sound like that.

0:29:040:29:06

We can do this. I really have a faith and a belief in this group

0:29:060:29:09

and I'd love to be given the chance to do it.

0:29:090:29:12

I always think I know exactly how this is going to go,

0:29:150:29:18

but you can never tell till you're actually in the room.

0:29:180:29:20

I think, with Littlewoods, I really like them. They had god harmonies,

0:29:240:29:28

they hung together well as a performance.

0:29:280:29:31

It's just not really grabbing me.

0:29:310:29:34

I thought Beatbox Academy started a little bit sketchily.

0:29:350:29:39

The harmony didn't quite gel and then in came Alisha

0:29:390:29:42

with this fabulous solo. Really good.

0:29:420:29:45

CHEERING

0:29:450:29:46

I thought Bulmershe - some of them are completely unafraid

0:29:460:29:50

and some of them look petrified.

0:29:500:29:52

I mean, I don't quite know how you fix that.

0:29:520:29:56

It's just about which performance made me think,

0:29:570:30:00

"I want to work with that group." That's what I'm looking for.

0:30:000:30:03

'Who's got the most potential to go on to represent the region?'

0:30:030:30:07

-Hello, how are you doing?

-MURMURS AND APPLAUSE

0:30:130:30:16

I think the challenge for you is to find simplicity.

0:30:160:30:20

I thought that the song, it was good but it wasn't sung with great heart.

0:30:220:30:27

The beatboxing's working so well, the solos are working well,

0:30:290:30:33

but you need a bit of expertise in the middle.

0:30:330:30:36

I've had a really good think. It was a difficult decision today

0:30:390:30:42

because there were some very good performances.

0:30:420:30:44

I've decided...

0:30:480:30:49

..I'm not going to take you on to the next stage.

0:30:510:30:53

But thank you so much and I'm sorry to disappoint you.

0:30:530:30:56

-That's OK.

-Thanks for having us.

-It's been great to have you

0:30:560:31:00

and keep singing.

0:31:000:31:01

-We will.

-Well done. Thank you. Bye-bye.

-Bye.

0:31:010:31:05

We worked really hard to get here

0:31:070:31:08

but what's great is it's pulled us together as a group anyway.

0:31:080:31:11

This was a wonderful experience

0:31:110:31:14

and we've learnt so much from it and it was worth every second of it.

0:31:140:31:17

I love you guys. You are great. You are doing fantastic things.

0:31:230:31:28

There were lots of things that I liked about it.

0:31:300:31:32

The harmonies didn't totally gel all the time,

0:31:320:31:35

but when they did they were good.

0:31:350:31:37

I just felt like it was a little polite today,

0:31:390:31:41

a little held back.

0:31:410:31:43

I'm not going to take you forward to the next stage.

0:31:430:31:46

You've just been pipped to the post. I'm really sorry.

0:31:460:31:51

But well done. Love you guys. Thank you very much for being part of it.

0:31:510:31:54

I really do appreciate the effort and I shall watch with interest.

0:31:540:31:57

-Thank you.

-Well done. Bye, guys.

0:31:570:32:00

-We were close, but you know...

-It WAS close. There was three of us.

0:32:000:32:04

LAUGHTER

0:32:040:32:05

Probably a better group won, but, I mean, power to them.

0:32:050:32:09

At the end of the day, we're going to keep doing what we do well.

0:32:090:32:12

And, yeah, we're proud of what we've done.

0:32:120:32:15

This is another memory now for all the guys.

0:32:150:32:18

I've been thinking very hard about it

0:32:220:32:24

and the good news is that I would like to take you through

0:32:240:32:28

-to the next stage.

-CHEERING AND EXCLAMATIONS

0:32:280:32:31

Well done!

0:32:320:32:34

Don't get overexcited because this means

0:32:360:32:39

you are now in the main contest.

0:32:390:32:41

I want you to prove to me that I made the right choice.

0:32:410:32:45

And that means lots and lots of hard work and improvement ahead,

0:32:450:32:49

so I'm going to issue you with your first challenge right now.

0:32:490:32:52

I'm tasking you to learn a song that you will perform

0:32:520:32:56

in your home town in four weeks' time.

0:32:560:32:59

The lyrics, I think, are about your stage of life.

0:33:010:33:04

It's about looking forward to the future and embracing it.

0:33:040:33:08

-Would you like to know what it is?

-ALL: Yes!

0:33:080:33:11

Play the tune.

0:33:110:33:12

MUSIC: Intro to Wings by Little Mix

0:33:120:33:15

# Mama told me not to waste my life

0:33:150:33:18

# She said, "Spread your wings"... #

0:33:180:33:20

It's Wings by Little Mix.

0:33:200:33:22

-You know it?

-ALL: Yeah.

-Have you done it before?

-ALL: No.

-Good.

0:33:220:33:26

Good choice? I'm going to come to your school in about ten days' time

0:33:260:33:29

and I will expect you to have something to show me.

0:33:290:33:33

So, please get to work.

0:33:330:33:35

-Well done!

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:33:350:33:38

For us to make it through against such stiff competition,

0:33:420:33:44

so excited, so pleased.

0:33:440:33:47

It's been a great day. I'm delighted with the Bulmershe Ensemble.

0:33:470:33:51

I think they're really good and they'll produce something fantastic.

0:33:510:33:54

That's a great song for them. It's going to be fun for them

0:33:550:33:58

but it's also really challenging.

0:33:580:33:59

But who doesn't love a challenge? I think they're going to relish it.

0:33:590:34:03

MUSIC: Fives by Dylan Rippon

0:34:060:34:10

SCHOOL BELL RINGS

0:34:130:34:15

The Bulmershe School is a comprehensive school

0:34:150:34:18

on the outskirts of Reading.

0:34:180:34:20

There's about 1,100 students here.

0:34:200:34:23

It's a wonderful school and we've worked really hard

0:34:240:34:27

in the last couple of years to carry on improving the school

0:34:270:34:31

and the image it has in the local community.

0:34:310:34:34

When you think of a school choir,

0:34:350:34:36

you normally think of private schools. We're not a private school.

0:34:360:34:40

We're a state, open-entry, inclusive school

0:34:400:34:42

and we sing as well as anybody else

0:34:420:34:44

and it's very important that we show that.

0:34:440:34:46

The choir was set up two and a half years ago

0:34:460:34:49

by music and maths teacher Sarah.

0:34:490:34:53

I realised there were quite a few talented kids in the school

0:34:530:34:55

who could sing, and thought we could put together

0:34:550:34:57

a gospel-esque choir and enter a local competition.

0:34:570:35:01

Miss Lant came running in in her normal style, all overexcited,

0:35:010:35:04

and said, "I've found a choir competition I want to join,"

0:35:040:35:07

and Miss Lant says everything so excitable,

0:35:070:35:10

and so in your face, that really there's no choice to say no.

0:35:100:35:13

So, I was in the rehearsal that afternoon, I think, so...

0:35:130:35:17

They've had a meteoric rise,

0:35:170:35:20

winning awards in national competitions,

0:35:200:35:23

but it's performing in the local community

0:35:230:35:25

-that's had the most impact on the school.

-Especially when we started,

0:35:250:35:28

the Bulmershe School didn't have the greatest reputation.

0:35:280:35:32

So when they said some Bulmershe kids were going to sing,

0:35:320:35:34

it was, like, "Oh, my God, this is going to be

0:35:340:35:36

"another long one to listen to."

0:35:360:35:37

When they hear the kids, they realise the amount of dedication

0:35:370:35:42

and pride that they've got in their school.

0:35:420:35:44

It doesn't feel like school when we're doing this.

0:35:440:35:47

It feels like we're a group of friends singing in a choir.

0:35:470:35:49

-I've got a brand-new warm-up for you today.

-Ooh!

0:35:510:35:54

# Many men, many men, Many men, men, men... #

0:35:540:35:55

In the weeks since the sing-off,

0:35:550:35:58

the choir has been preparing for Gareth's visit.

0:35:580:36:01

I'm at the Bulmershe School for the first time since I put them through.

0:36:010:36:05

Now it's time to knuckle down and I want to make changes to the group

0:36:050:36:08

and make suggestions and I'm going to talk to Sarah

0:36:080:36:10

about how they'll deal with that

0:36:100:36:12

cos she's their teacher and knows them well.

0:36:120:36:14

I want them to really stand a chance in the contest

0:36:140:36:17

and there's a bit of work ahead before they're ready.

0:36:170:36:20

The last question, crucially... Oh, hello!

0:36:200:36:22

Good afternoon! Would you like to come in and join our maths lesson?

0:36:220:36:26

We've got a bit of an indices rap going on that we remember.

0:36:260:36:29

When you times the powers, you add the powers

0:36:290:36:33

When you divide the powers, you minus the powers.

0:36:330:36:37

-Does this help?

-(No).

-No?

0:36:370:36:40

Very good. Well done, guys. Very good, Tom.

0:36:400:36:44

There we are, miss. There's my work.

0:36:440:36:45

-I can't believe you gatecrashed my maths class.

-I did.

0:36:450:36:48

-That was pretty traumatic. I had sweaty palms.

-Did you?

0:36:480:36:51

-How are the group doing? Are they OK?

-They're doing well.

0:36:510:36:53

The pressure will notch up now, now we're into the actual contest.

0:36:530:36:57

-How do you think they'll deal with that?

-Some of them are confident,

0:36:570:37:00

others of them are confident on the outside

0:37:000:37:02

but inside, they're in inner turmoil.

0:37:020:37:05

-They're teenagers.

-Yeah.

-And teenagers today, you know, anxiety,

0:37:050:37:10

body confidence imaging, all massive parts of being a teenager.

0:37:100:37:15

I think all the ones in the choir really want to be more confident.

0:37:150:37:19

-Let's go and see how they're doing.

-Yeah, let's go!

-OK.

0:37:190:37:22

I'm excited to see Bulmershe,

0:37:220:37:24

because they're so fun, young and exuberant.

0:37:240:37:26

But the challenge with them is that they don't have

0:37:260:37:29

all the emotional experience and maturity

0:37:290:37:31

of all the adult groups they're up against.

0:37:310:37:33

That's going to be very difficult for them.

0:37:330:37:35

-Hello!

-ALL: Hello!

-How are you doing?

0:37:350:37:39

Why don't we start by you singing to me and I'll see what we've got.

0:37:390:37:42

ALL: # The words don't mean a thing

0:37:420:37:47

# I'm not listening

0:37:470:37:49

# Keep talking, all I know is

0:37:490:37:52

# Mama told me not to waste my life

0:37:520:37:55

# She said, "Spread your wings, my little butterfly"... #

0:37:550:38:00

I think I've given them a gift of a song.

0:38:000:38:02

It's called Wings by Little Mix and it's about growing up.

0:38:020:38:05

It's about standing on your own two feet,

0:38:050:38:07

being yourself in the face of naysayers,

0:38:070:38:10

and I think that's a song that they can connect with

0:38:100:38:12

and pour their hearts into.

0:38:120:38:13

# And they can't detain you

0:38:130:38:15

# These wings are made to fly. #

0:38:150:38:20

-Is that as far as you've got?

-Yeah.

0:38:210:38:23

That's good. Lots and lots of good ideas there. Well done.

0:38:230:38:27

Do you want to sit down actually? Really, what I want to see

0:38:270:38:29

is a commitment to the meaning of the song from very single person

0:38:290:38:33

and thinking about it as you're singing.

0:38:330:38:35

And it's not just about getting meaning across to the audience.

0:38:350:38:38

It's about how you communicate it between yourselves

0:38:380:38:41

and how comfortable you feel

0:38:410:38:43

singing emotionally in front of each other.

0:38:430:38:47

What do you think?

0:38:470:38:48

When I sing, I sing to enjoy it. I don't think about emoting

0:38:510:38:54

when I'm singing. When I listen to it, I think about emotions,

0:38:540:38:56

but when I'm doing it, I don't.

0:38:560:38:58

-OK. I mean, it slightly comes across.

-Yeah.

0:38:580:39:02

How about you, Emily? You have a solo there.

0:39:020:39:04

Try to, but I think a lot of it is just kind of performing.

0:39:040:39:09

Is anyone thinking about what it means?

0:39:090:39:12

-What are you thinking about? Lunch?

-LAUGHTER

0:39:120:39:16

-Not sure.

-Not even sure.

0:39:160:39:18

'I told them why I picked the song when I last saw them.

0:39:180:39:22

'I said it's about the beginning'

0:39:220:39:23

of your life, your future and all of that.

0:39:230:39:26

And so I think they feel that that box has been ticked.

0:39:260:39:28

But that's not really what it means to sing a song, I don't think.

0:39:280:39:32

You have to know each single individual phrase

0:39:320:39:35

why you're singing it,

0:39:350:39:36

and that has to be at the forefront of your mind.

0:39:360:39:39

I just don't want them to turn out boring performances.

0:39:390:39:42

What goes on at home? When you get told off, what's it like? Scary?

0:39:420:39:46

Show me scary. One, two, three, and...

0:39:460:39:49

-# Mama told me not to waste my life

-Ooh, ooh, ah-ooh... #

0:39:490:39:52

Tell me off. Don't sing, tell me off.

0:39:520:39:53

-# Spread your wings, my little butterfly

-Ah-ooh

0:39:530:39:58

-# Don't let what they say keep you up at night

-Ah-ooh

0:39:580:40:01

-# And if they give you

-Ssh

-Then you can walk on by. #

-Ssh!

0:40:010:40:05

Good, yeah, that's great.

0:40:050:40:07

Suddenly, from lots of you, the energy is going in one direction

0:40:070:40:10

and it's clear. # Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. #

0:40:100:40:13

Rather than, "Ooh, ooh, ooh." Shifty eyes. "Ooh, ooh, what am I singing?"

0:40:130:40:18

"Ooh, ooh, ooh." And the difference between the angry time

0:40:180:40:21

that you did it there and the time you first sang it

0:40:210:40:24

is enormous. It shouldn't be frightening.

0:40:240:40:26

Putting your heart and soul into a song is good for you

0:40:260:40:30

and nothing to be afraid of.

0:40:300:40:33

You're doing the solo. You did the solo last time.

0:40:330:40:36

You're doing the arranging. Can you stay behind?

0:40:360:40:39

The rest of you, class dismissed. You may leave. Thank you, well done.

0:40:390:40:43

Katie admitted that she never thinks about the words at all.

0:40:430:40:46

She just likes singing. That's level one.

0:40:460:40:49

The next stage is for them to think about what they're doing.

0:40:490:40:52

It's not such a frightening thing, once you embrace it.

0:40:520:40:55

But I think it is frightening when you're 16.

0:40:550:40:58

Right now, it's a lot to do all at once -

0:40:580:41:00

learning it and trying to remember the words

0:41:000:41:03

and trying to connect it to how you feel

0:41:030:41:05

is quite a lot when I'm just trying to remember what note comes next.

0:41:050:41:09

Does what I said make sense to you,

0:41:090:41:12

-about how you perform the song?

-I used to be bullied

0:41:120:41:15

and I think everyone's been bullied in their life

0:41:150:41:18

and there's always people that say, "Don't worry about what they say,

0:41:180:41:21

"Be yourself", things like that. I think that's how I feel

0:41:210:41:24

the song relates back to me.

0:41:240:41:26

I can totally relate to that.

0:41:260:41:28

I found being sort of 14 to 16 quite difficult,

0:41:280:41:32

but once I was into sixth form and I started to find musical things

0:41:320:41:36

that I could enjoy and express myself to,

0:41:360:41:39

then life got a bit easier.

0:41:390:41:41

I had two friends at school and we were like best friends,

0:41:410:41:46

and they split off. Sorry, it makes me sad.

0:41:460:41:50

They split off with different people.

0:41:500:41:53

And I was kind of on my own.

0:41:550:41:57

It's a hard time of life. As you're talking, I'm just...

0:41:570:42:01

I don't know. It's awful. It's a long time ago for me now,

0:42:010:42:04

but I remember it like it was yesterday.

0:42:040:42:07

It was horrible at the time

0:42:070:42:08

but it does get better, yeah.

0:42:080:42:11

Just get the group to have a discussion about each bit,

0:42:110:42:15

what each line means to people,

0:42:150:42:17

and then bam, go for it.

0:42:170:42:19

I feel like I'm looking at my teenage years from a great distance.

0:42:220:42:26

It's a difficult time of life

0:42:260:42:28

and you're very inhibited and very unsure of yourself

0:42:280:42:30

and they've got big life decisions hanging over them

0:42:300:42:33

and that's what the song's about.

0:42:330:42:35

It's a lot for them to contend with.

0:42:350:42:37

MUSIC: Inferno by Dylan Rippon

0:42:430:42:48

As well as carefully selecting their song,

0:42:480:42:51

Gareth has chosen a poignant date for the choir to perform -

0:42:510:42:55

their last day at Bulmershe.

0:42:550:42:59

It's kind of like a big sendoff.

0:42:590:43:00

This is our last kind of choir performance

0:43:000:43:02

with all the people in it now that we'll do,

0:43:020:43:05

so to do at school is absolutely fab.

0:43:050:43:07

It's going to be really special after seven years

0:43:070:43:10

and to do it in front of all our teachers and students,

0:43:100:43:12

it's going to be nerve-racking,

0:43:120:43:13

but I'm excited to leave school this way.

0:43:130:43:15

-# Mama told me not to waste my life

-Ah-ooh... #

0:43:150:43:19

There are seven days to go.

0:43:190:43:21

I think we've got a lot of work to do going forward.

0:43:210:43:24

We knew we did. We're up for that challenge.

0:43:240:43:26

I think we've got to work on tuning

0:43:260:43:28

and getting the emotion of the song, of course.

0:43:280:43:32

While the choir is working on bringing

0:43:320:43:34

meaning and emotion to their song,

0:43:340:43:37

classically-trained pianist Warren has the job

0:43:370:43:40

of working out the accompaniment.

0:43:400:43:42

Most rehearsals, she's always asking me to play something,

0:43:420:43:45

to just put something together in the space of five minutes,

0:43:450:43:49

like I'm able to do something like that magically -

0:43:490:43:51

which I'm not!

0:43:510:43:53

LAUGHTER

0:43:530:43:55

ALL: # I don't need no-one saying hey, hey, hey, hey... #

0:43:550:43:59

He's never heard that before.... so just give him a second.

0:43:590:44:05

He's a talented musician

0:44:050:44:06

but Warren's not known for his reliability.

0:44:060:44:09

The others get frustrated with him

0:44:110:44:13

because he's a bit unpredictable sometimes.

0:44:130:44:15

However, I always feel quite confident that he's going to turn up

0:44:150:44:19

and going to perform and do what we need him to do.

0:44:190:44:22

If you don't have your eye on him, like, all day,

0:44:220:44:24

he would disappear if you look away for a second.

0:44:240:44:26

"Where's Warren?" is a bit of a phrase, like "Where's Wally?"

0:44:260:44:30

LAUGHTER

0:44:300:44:33

-I just need to practise it.

-OK.

0:44:330:44:35

Cos it's just bits and pieces that I just thought about.

0:44:350:44:38

-That's what you're going to do for the ending?

-Yeah.

0:44:380:44:40

-Have you got time to do that by tomorrow?

-Yeah.

0:44:400:44:42

I don't feel too stressed. I feel a little bit relaxed,

0:44:420:44:47

not like some others.

0:44:470:44:49

I'm just trying to get this finished.

0:44:490:44:51

If he was no good, then it would be annoying,

0:44:510:44:54

but he's good, so... He's great.

0:44:540:44:58

WARREN PLAYS PIANO

0:44:580:45:00

'I thought I might go and have a little chat with Warren'

0:45:010:45:04

because it's not unusual to have unreliable

0:45:040:45:06

or unpredictable members of a choir,

0:45:060:45:09

but the others are relying on him,

0:45:090:45:11

so I think I need to gee him up a bit.

0:45:110:45:13

Are you an "It'll be all right on the night" sort of person?

0:45:130:45:17

-Yeah.

-Oh! That... And if I just asked you to play, like,

0:45:170:45:20

just improvise on Happy Birthday or something like that,

0:45:200:45:24

-could you just do that?

-Yeah.

-Go on then.

0:45:240:45:26

WARREN PLAYS 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY'

0:45:260:45:30

HE IMPROVISES CREATIVELY WITH THE TUNE OF 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY'

0:45:300:45:33

-So you can do that?

-Yeah.

-Just like that, and that's no effort?

0:45:420:45:46

-Yeah.

-This is a talent that people would kill to have.

0:45:460:45:49

-I would say so.

-Yeah.

0:45:490:45:51

-How has your commitment been to...?

-They want to kill me sometimes.

0:45:510:45:55

-Do they? Yeah, I think

-I

-would.

0:45:550:45:57

I feel like you are the bedrock on which everything sits.

0:45:570:46:02

-Yeah.

-What I would always say to people

0:46:020:46:05

is that it's about trust and it's about being reliable

0:46:050:46:09

and dependable for rehearsals. Rehearsals are massively important.

0:46:090:46:12

-Go and knuckle down.

-Yeah.

-Thanks.

-See you soon.

-See you later.

0:46:120:46:16

There is a danger that he won't pull it off.

0:46:210:46:23

Things haven't gone disastrously wrong for him ever

0:46:230:46:26

cos he can fumble his way out of it, because he's got natural talent.

0:46:260:46:30

But there's a time when that runs out

0:46:300:46:33

and I hope it's not on Wednesday.

0:46:330:46:36

INDISTINGUISHABLE CHATTER

0:46:410:46:45

Although many of the sixth formers have finished their exams,

0:46:450:46:48

the competition means they can only partially relax.

0:46:480:46:51

After today, it'll be only two days till we're performing to everyone

0:46:510:46:54

so it's nerve-racking, but I think we're going to have it down by then.

0:46:540:46:58

Yeah, two days until our big performance.

0:46:580:47:01

The whole auditorium will be full,

0:47:010:47:03

so there'll be a lot of people here to watch

0:47:030:47:05

but I'm looking forward to it. I think everyone will like it

0:47:050:47:07

and we've made a lot of progress with what we've done,

0:47:070:47:10

so I think we'll be ready.

0:47:100:47:11

Oh!

0:47:110:47:14

It's the biggest thing we've ever done. It's really exciting,

0:47:140:47:17

but it's so nerve-racking as well.

0:47:170:47:18

-Going up!

-Yeah!

0:47:180:47:20

-Yeah!

-APPLAUSE

0:47:200:47:23

There are two days to go and this will be the last performance

0:47:250:47:30

before they go up against the adults in the contest.

0:47:300:47:33

We've put a lot of work into connecting with the lyrics.

0:47:330:47:36

I think some of them are doing it by being taught to do it,

0:47:360:47:41

others are probably feeling it a little bit more than others.

0:47:410:47:44

Being young is a disadvantage for two reasons -

0:47:440:47:47

one is lacking the emotional maturity to connect with the song

0:47:470:47:50

and the other is confidence, and that's my next task.

0:47:500:47:54

ALL: # No matter what you say, it won't hurt me

0:47:540:47:57

# Don't matter if I fall from the sky

0:47:570:48:02

# These wings are made to fly. #

0:48:020:48:06

-Hello, everyone.

-ALL: Hello.

-How are you?

-Great.

-Nervous?

0:48:060:48:11

ALL: Yeah.

0:48:110:48:13

-We are missing... Where's Warren on the keys?

-In France.

-In France?

0:48:130:48:17

He's coming back. We're expecting him at some point today, hopefully.

0:48:170:48:20

All right. OK, well, let's move on with or without Warren.

0:48:200:48:24

The major thing for me, as you go forward into the contest,

0:48:240:48:27

and you're going up against groups

0:48:270:48:28

that are much older and more experienced,

0:48:280:48:30

is that everyone has to be on the same level of confidence

0:48:300:48:33

about standing on stage and being yourself and singing the song.

0:48:330:48:38

So, I want to take you out of school

0:48:380:48:41

and issue you with a challenge, a performing challenge.

0:48:410:48:44

-Are you with me?

-ALL: Yes.

0:48:440:48:47

-Are you with me?

-ALL SHOUT: Yes!

0:48:470:48:49

Road trip!

0:48:520:48:54

I think a lot of people join choirs

0:48:550:48:57

cos they think, "I'm not doing a solo,

0:48:570:48:58

"I'll be in the background and no-one will notice me!"

0:48:580:49:01

But when there's only 15 of you, everyone is important,

0:49:010:49:04

everyone's noticed, everybody's got to be confident.

0:49:040:49:06

MUSIC: Challenge by Theo Vidgen

0:49:060:49:10

Right here, now, we have no audience whatsoever,

0:49:120:49:14

and I'd like to see if you, collectively,

0:49:140:49:17

can create an audience on your own from nothing.

0:49:170:49:20

This is the challenge part.

0:49:200:49:22

I would like you each to sing something on your own.

0:49:220:49:26

It's shrugging off the sort of bashfulness that you have at school

0:49:270:49:31

and singing like adults.

0:49:310:49:33

-Shall we try it?

-Yeah.

-Yes?

-ALL: Yes.

0:49:330:49:36

Right, come on then. Welcome. This is the Bulmershe Ensemble

0:49:360:49:40

and this is pretty impromptu. They're going to busk for you.

0:49:400:49:44

You've got two claps already.

0:49:440:49:47

GARETH PLAYS INTRO TO ROAR BY KATY PERRY

0:49:470:49:51

# I used to... I had a choice...

0:49:510:49:54

# Pushed me past the breaking point

0:49:540:49:56

# But... # I don't know the words.

0:49:560:49:58

Ah, do you want to get the words? Get the words on your phone.

0:49:580:50:03

Don't worry. Why don't we get the words on my phone?

0:50:040:50:08

Don't worry about it. It's all right. Ready?

0:50:080:50:11

Yes?

0:50:110:50:13

# I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath

0:50:130:50:16

# Scared to rock the boat and make a mess

0:50:160:50:18

# So I sat quietly

0:50:180:50:21

# Agreed politely

0:50:210:50:23

# I guess that I forgot I had a choice

0:50:230:50:26

# Let you push me past the breaking point

0:50:260:50:28

# I stood for nothing

0:50:280:50:30

# So I fell for everything

0:50:300:50:33

ALL: # You're gonna hear me roar. #

0:50:330:50:38

-APPLAUSE

-Well done!

0:50:380:50:40

-# If the sky... #

-LAUGHTER

0:50:430:50:46

# I look upon

0:50:460:50:48

# Should crumble and fall

0:50:480:50:52

# And the mountains should crumble

0:50:520:50:55

# To the sea

0:50:550:50:58

# I won't cry, I won't cry

0:50:580:51:02

# No, I won't shed a tear

0:51:020:51:06

# Just as long as you stand

0:51:060:51:10

ALL: # Stand by me, stand by me

0:51:100:51:14

# La, la, la, la, la

0:51:140:51:17

-# La, la, la, la... #

-LAUGHTER

0:51:170:51:19

Sorry, I won't...

0:51:190:51:21

-APPLAUSE

-Well done, everyone. That's good.

0:51:210:51:24

-Do you all hate me now or...?

-I enjoyed it.

0:51:240:51:26

-You enjoyed it?

-Yeah.

-When you start to kind of

0:51:260:51:30

look up and connect and be in the song,

0:51:300:51:33

I feel like I'm watching a singer,

0:51:330:51:35

and as soon as you start thinking, "I don't sound good,"

0:51:350:51:38

I'm watching someone who's terrified and you've got a choice.

0:51:380:51:42

Are you going to be frightened or are you going to be brave?

0:51:420:51:45

When you're in the choir, like when we're in our semicircle,

0:51:480:51:51

you have the comfort blanket kind of thing,

0:51:510:51:53

and when you have to stand out of that, it's a bit disorientating,

0:51:530:51:56

like, "OK, I'm by myself now."

0:51:560:51:58

I feel like I've done my bit

0:51:580:52:00

and I've questioned their lack of confidence

0:52:000:52:02

and I've made them think about it and I've challenged them here today

0:52:020:52:05

and, hopefully, the penny will start to drop and they'll go for it

0:52:050:52:08

but, frankly, only on Wednesday will I actually know whether it's worked.

0:52:080:52:12

It's the day of the big performance

0:52:240:52:27

and for the sixth formers, their last day at school.

0:52:270:52:30

The choir's been such a big part of our experience in the school

0:52:330:52:35

that actually being able to sing on the last day WITH the choir

0:52:350:52:38

is a great thing to do. It's like a final hurrah.

0:52:380:52:41

We thought it's only fair to give "The most likely to cause

0:52:410:52:45

"a stunned silence with their amazing arrangements", that's Abi.

0:52:450:52:49

CHEERING

0:52:490:52:51

It's emotional because we are a very tight group.

0:52:510:52:54

With a lot of us leaving, we don't want to say goodbye,

0:52:540:52:59

so we're holding off for as long as we can.

0:52:590:53:01

That's amazing, guys. Thank you very much!

0:53:010:53:03

I am sad to see these guys go

0:53:030:53:05

and it will be difficult coming back in September without them.

0:53:050:53:09

This afternoon is a really good opportunity

0:53:110:53:14

for the choir to show Gareth and all their teachers and their peers

0:53:140:53:17

that they are good enough to be in this competition

0:53:170:53:21

and that they deserve to be in the last four.

0:53:210:53:23

"Where's Warren?"

0:53:230:53:25

LAUGHTER

0:53:250:53:27

The choir will be singing for 400 pupils, friends and family members.

0:53:300:53:35

We just really want them to do well and perform at their best

0:53:350:53:38

and, hopefully, they haven't got too many nerves.

0:53:380:53:40

I just feel really proud. I can't believe it's my daughter singing.

0:53:430:53:46

To see the whole choir grow from nothing

0:53:460:53:51

has been really exciting and you feel part of the journey with them.

0:53:510:53:55

I think I would have preferred a little longer with Warren.

0:53:590:54:02

I'm still not convinced that the choir are entirely happy

0:54:020:54:06

with his piano-playing.

0:54:060:54:08

I'm just hoping they can pull it out the bag.

0:54:080:54:10

-Hello! Hello!

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:54:190:54:23

Hello, hello! Good afternoon, Bulmershe!

0:54:230:54:26

So wonderful to see so many of you lovely people here today,

0:54:260:54:29

on this, the very last day of school!

0:54:290:54:33

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:54:330:54:35

Loosen your school ties, throw your blazers in the air

0:54:350:54:38

for the Bulmershe Ensemble!

0:54:380:54:41

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:54:410:54:44

THEY CHANT: Bulmershe! Bulmershe!

0:54:440:54:46

ALL: # Da, da, da, da, da

0:54:540:54:58

-# Mama told me not to waste my life

-Ooh, ooh, ah-ooh, ooh

0:54:580:55:01

-# She said, "Spread your wings

-Ah-ooh, ooh

0:55:010:55:04

-# "My little butterfly"

-Ah-ooh, ooh

0:55:040:55:06

-# Don't matter what they say

-Ah-ooh, ooh

0:55:060:55:08

-# Can't keep you up at night

-Ah-ooh, ooh

0:55:080:55:09

-# And if they give you

-Shh

-Then they can walk on by

-Ooh

0:55:090:55:14

-# My feet, feet can't touch the ground

-Da, da, da, da, da

0:55:140:55:17

-# And I can't hear a sound

-Da, da, da, da, da, da

0:55:170:55:19

# But you just keep on running up your mouth, yeah

0:55:190:55:22

-# Walk, walk on over there

-Da, da, da, da, da, da

0:55:220:55:25

-# Cos I'm too fly to care

-Da, da, da, da, da, da

0:55:250:55:27

-# Oh, yeah

-Da, da, da

0:55:270:55:29

# I don't need no-one saying hey, hey, hey, hey

0:55:290:55:33

-# I don't hear no one saying

-Hey

-Hey

-Hey

-Hey

-Hey

0:55:330:55:36

# Your words don't mean a thing

0:55:360:55:40

# I'm not listening

0:55:400:55:42

# They're just like water off my wings

0:55:420:55:45

# Mama told me not to waste my life

0:55:450:55:48

# She said, "Spread your wings, my little butterfly"

0:55:480:55:52

# Don't let what they say keep you up at night

0:55:520:55:56

# And they can't detain you

0:55:560:55:58

# These wings are made to fly

0:55:580:56:02

# And we'll let nobody bring us down

0:56:020:56:06

# No matter what you say, it won't hurt me

0:56:060:56:09

# Don't matter if I fall from the sky

0:56:090:56:13

# These wings are made to

0:56:130:56:16

-# Fly

-These wings are made to

0:56:160:56:18

# These wings are made to fly

0:56:180:56:21

# Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly, butterfly

0:56:210:56:24

# Fly. #

0:56:240:56:28

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:56:280:56:31

Ladies and gentlemen, the utterly brilliant Bulmershe Ensemble!

0:56:330:56:38

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:56:380:56:41

It just felt so good performing with people I love so much.

0:56:510:56:55

It was absolutely amazing.

0:56:550:56:58

-Proud?

-Very proud.

-Good, I'm sure.

-Very proud.

0:56:580:57:01

-She's learnt to smile when she sings.

-You've got to smile.

0:57:010:57:04

-SHE SHRIEKS

-Sorry, sorry!

0:57:040:57:07

I'm well proud of you!

0:57:070:57:09

-THEY LAUGH

-Sorry!

0:57:090:57:12

-They kind of just grew.

-Yeah, you could see that kind of,

0:57:140:57:17

"Oh, yeah, we've really done this." They loved it.

0:57:170:57:20

We all enjoyed it. We all had an amazing time on that stage today,

0:57:200:57:23

and for these last few weeks, it just sums it up.

0:57:230:57:28

I thought that was great. There was a big leap in confidence.

0:57:280:57:31

They looked like adults on that stage.

0:57:310:57:33

It was much better, really emotional and invested.

0:57:330:57:36

How do you think the performance went? Go!

0:57:360:57:38

THEY CHEER

0:57:380:57:40

That's it. I've got my four groups and they're four great groups.

0:57:400:57:43

I've got mums, I've got the gospel choir, I've got a school choir

0:57:430:57:46

and I've got a university a capella group,

0:57:460:57:48

so it makes it a very exciting and interesting competition.

0:57:480:57:51

I've really enjoyed working with them

0:57:510:57:53

and I'm looking forward to pushing them SO hard next time.

0:57:530:57:56

In the next stage of the contest...

0:57:570:57:59

-Hello, my regional champions!

-CHEERING

0:57:590:58:02

..Gareth's four chosen choirs come together at boot camp.

0:58:020:58:06

-Do you love me or do you hate me?

-We love you!

0:58:060:58:09

Oh, thank God!

0:58:090:58:11

They'll face intensive mentoring...

0:58:110:58:14

How are we going to get this to performance level?

0:58:140:58:16

We're working so hard.

0:58:160:58:18

..ahead of a semifinal sing-off that will send one group home.

0:58:200:58:25

The group that they felt should take the final place in the contest is...

0:58:250:58:30

MUSIC: Challenge by Theo Vidgen

0:58:330:58:36

In the last leg of his tour of the UK, Gareth scours the south east, looking for a fourth choir to fill the last semi-final place.

Contestants include members of a Battersea beatbox academy, a choir comprised of NHS staff and a gifted group of Reading sixth-formers put together by their maths teacher.