PHOENIX — Less than 12 hours after arriving in the US from the UK, the Next Stage Choir is rehearsing just ahead of their first performance across the pond. In 2018, plans were in the works to perform in the States in 2020. That is before a global pandemic silenced the world.
“This project is four years in the making,” said Choir Director Russell Scott Friday.
“It’s a real mixture of excitement and nerves,” said singer Jenny Armstrong.
Scott says through the isolation, their voices carried on. They made it a priority to stick together and stay connected.
“For me it was all about continuity, it was about keeping going cause actually a choir is full of people that keep each other going,” said Scott.
The group kept in tune by rehearsing over Zoom from day one of lockdown. On Sunday, they’ll share their talents by performing the national anthem at Chase Field.
“Very much a lot of responsibility, and I think what struck us all was how moved we were when we’re actually singing it,” said Jan Price.
Not only will the 60-person choir perform at the Diamondbacks game but later in the week, they’ll put on a memorial concert for September 11. They'll join local choir Songs of the Southwest Singers at American Lutheran Church at 3 p.m. Admission completely free.
“We do a complete mix of music, we’re doing some Disney, some John Denver, we’re doing God Bless America of course, and some of the patriotic stuff as well,” said Scott.
For some of the singers like Jenny Armstrong, it’s their first trip to the United States, calling it a bucket list item.
“My young daughter has come along as well, it’s her first trip, so it’s made it very special for both of us,” said Armstrong.
And this group hopes to make it special for you, igniting a feeling of unity we can all use about now.
“I want people to be moved, to be inspired by great people,” said Scott.