From the humble beginnings of a single choir in Greenwich with just four members in 2010, UK Soul Choirs now feature 14 branches in London and the South East with over 500 members singing together weekly.
Abi Gilchrist, a highly experienced vocal coach and seasoned vocalist in her own right (abigilchrist.co.uk) was compelled to start Soul Choirs because of her love of the genre and the thrill of bringing people together through singing. From a South East London rehearsal room, she has grown a choir of hundreds who have found their voices, lasting friendships and community.

In 2013, Abi’s husband, Ross Power, officially came on board as Musical Director. Ross, an accomplished composer and musician (www.rosspowermusic.com), was the perfect fit for the choir and together they are now dedicated in their mission for the joy it brings anyone embarking on their vocal journey.

The couple had two very successful branches, in Greenwich and Hither Green, and after deciding on a move to the beautiful coastal town of Whitstable with their young family, opened another two choirs in the North Kent town. Once more these proved to be hugely popular and, with more interest bubbling throughout Kent, they continued to grow locations further west into Medway and Tunbridge Wells and into Central London.

In addition to writing new arrangements and adding to the Choir’s repertoire, Abi and Ross are always thinking about how they can improve their members’ experiences. They have created The Community Singer, an online resource that supports amateur singers at the start of the journey plus recruiting leading industry professionals to take singing workshops as part of the Finding Your Voice workshop programme. They even conduct a livestream weekly rehearsal for members who are unable to attend in person!

Early Beginnings

UK Soul Choirs use their performance opportunities to collect money for charities. Over the years, they are proud to say that they have collected tens of thousands for both local and national organisations such as Parkinsons UK, Tommy’s, UK Food Banks, Mind, Disasters Emergency Committee for Ukraine and The British Heart Foundation to name but a few.

Abi and Ross are strong believers in sharing their passion and talent to do good. This goes hand-in-hand with their proven belief that the shared experience of singing with a group promotes positive mental wellness. Even throughout the extensive lockdown period, Soul Choirs adapted, pivoting to run rehearsals online ahead of most other similar organisations, beaming themselves on an interactive live stream to all their members! This culminated in a fantastic, virtual performance involving 160 members and raising over a whopping £11,000 for the charity, Mind!

Over the years, Soul Choirs has been fortunate to have performed alongside Soul Legends such as Mica Paris, Alison Limerick, Heather Small, Lamar and Jocelyn Brown. They’ve sung at Blackheath Festival, Dreamland, Camp Bestival, Greenwich and Docklands Festival, The Southbank Centre, KOKO and the Camden Electric Ballroom. They’ve been featured on LBC, Radio 3, Good Morning Britain and they were onscreen as the community choir of choice for the M&S Christmas advert 2022!

Abi and Ross are so proud and passionate about what they have created and give everything they can to help their members get the most out of their experience with Soul Choirs. Enabling a welcoming environment that boasts inclusivity, encouragement and growth, their ‘Choir Family’, (as they are affectionally known), are just that - a strong community of people from all walks of life; learning, singing and laughing together and making connections and friendships along the way.

meet our choir leaders

Michael Bascom
Choir Leader
Taryn Ryan
Choir Leader
Ross Power
Founder, Musical Director, Arranger and Leader
Abi Gilchrist
Managing Director, Founder and Leader
Eleanor Stevenson
Senior Choir Leader
Greg Davidson
Choir Leader

meet the support team

Michael Kohn
Growth Consultant
Amy Stanley
Concerts and Programming Manager

Find youR local soul choir

UK Soul Choirs is a professionally run inclusive community choir operating across South East London and Kent. There are no auditions, and no experience is necessary to come try us out. Members get to learn and sing great songs each week and perform with professional musicians in an end-of-term performance. We offer fully inclusive online learning resources, a community-led social programme and a range of membership plan options to suit member's different priorities.

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