Last choir standing
A group of St Andrews students is vying to be crowned the nation’s favourite singing sensation in a new entertainment programme on BBC One.
The Alleycats, a contemporary a cappella group, will be going head-to-head with choirs from all walks of life in an exciting new talent search to find the UK’s most popular choir.
Following applications from across the country, The Alleycats were selected as one of the sixty best choirs to take part in the auditions for the series. In the first show The Alleycats will be pulling out all the stops to prove to the judges that they have the passion and technical ability necessary to make it through to the next stage of the competition and be in with a chance of being declared “Last Choir Standing”.
Presenters Nick Knowles and Myleene Klass are joined by judging panel of music experts – opera superstar Russell Watson, actress, singer and West End star Sharon D Clarke and choral conductor and director Suzi Digby OBE, who will be putting the choirs through their paces.
Founded in 2001 by two St Andrews students sharing a passion for singing, The Alleycats are now the oldest collegiate contemporary a cappella group in Scotland and the only mixed-voice contemporary a cappella group in St Andrews.
Initially all male, The Alleycats performed a mix of barbershop classics, contemporary pop-rock, and holiday carols at various student functions in St Andrews and released a number of studio albums including “More Than a Feline” and “Catfight”.
When the group became mixed-voice in 2007, it shifted its focus further towards contemporary pop-rock music, performing songs by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Mika, Massive Attack, and George Michael.
The Alleycats competed in the first Western European division of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), held in Oxford in February 2006. Spurred on by the growing popularity of contemporary a cappella in St Andrews, The Alleycats helped to host the first Scottish quarterfinal of the ICCA, in February 2008, before releasing their fifth studio album “Meow, That’s What I Call Music!” in May this year.
The Alleycats perform at a variety of events and venues throughout Scotland, ranging from balls, galas, and University receptions to private parties and annual Christmas visits to nursing homes in St Andrews.
From sixty choirs invited to audition at London’s Cadogan Hall, the panel of judges will decide which 15 will go through to the studio heats.
These 15 choirs will sing for a place in the next stage of the show where six choirs will perform in the live television finals for the public vote until there is only one – the Last Choir Standing.
Manager of The Alleycats, Tyler Mattiace said, “The group has come a long way in the past seven years but its ethos has remained exactly the same as when it began with a group of students who decided to start singing a cappella simply for the fun of it. The Alleycats pride themselves on remembering to be friends as well as band-mates.
“This will be greatest and most terrifying challenge the Alleycats have faced…We will be competing against other singing groups, of all shapes, sizes, and genres, in front of millions of viewers so please tune in and show us your support!”
“Last Choir Standing,” begins on Saturday, 5 July at 7:45pm on BBC One.
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