Meet 'From the Top'

From the Top

Who are 'From the Top', where are you, how many of you are there and what do you sing?

From The Top are a 9 piece contemporary a cappella group based in the intersection of Surrey, Hampshire, and Berkshire. We're formed of amateur and semi-professional singers with previous experience in choral singing, opera, barbershop, pop, and jazz. Our repertoire consists mainly of contemporary pop classics but also some jazz and folk. Our main aim is to entertain!

Who founded you and why?

We were founded in 2011 by two a cappella enthusiasts who found each other via the UK A Cappella discussion group on Yahoo. We knew what we wanted to sing, but couldn't find anyone in our area doing it. So we started a band! Neil (bass) brought Ellie and Alison, a couple of altos who had been singing a cappella with him. Jonathan (VP) brought his wife Cate (sop) and friends Hannah (mezzo), Andy (tenor), and Anita (sop). Our other tenor, Ian, responded to an email that we had circulated amongst our singing friends.

What’s been the most memorable gig/concert/event that you’ve sung?

'From The Top' sing at all sorts of venues and occasions. Each member has a different favourite, but what came out of our discussion was the experience of 'gigging' at events - feeling the sensation of being totally connected to each other musically. Notable performances include: the Voice Festival UK 2013; a performance alongside the High Notes singers at the Disability Arts in Surrey (DAiSY) event; performances at the Menier Gallery London and the Electric Theatre Guildford,

What is your favourite arrangement to perform?

We have so many! Right now it is probably "Skyfall" from the recent James Bond medley but we also love 80s cheese like "Video Killed the Radio Star"!

Do you have a club “ethos” or “philosophy”?

No, but we should get one shouldn't we?! To be musical and entertaining...?

What are your plans for the future?

We want to do more with mics. We're looking to do a big autumn concert and probably also some recording again in the Autumn too.

Any thoughts on the wider world of a cappella / other a cappella groups who have inspired you?

Although we are playing catch-up, the wider adoption of a cappella in the UK is encouraging and we are inspired particularly by the love of a cappella in Northern European countries such as Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Earlier this year we had a group outing to go and see 'Fork' in Southampton, which was hugely inspiring and great fun! We also like 'the Real Group', 'the Swingles', 'Straight No Chaser', 'The Magnets', and 'Cadence'.

Are you looking for new members? If so when do you rehearse and where?

We would love to hear from a deep bass! We rehearse on Tuesday nights in Woking for a couple of hours and we're a very social bunch!

Are there any other questions we should have asked you?

"How many times do you say 'from the top' during rehearsals?" - Normally by 8pm someone has said it and then, after that, we generally lose count!

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