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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019

"I get to sing the songs that I love": What you need to know about the commitment-free Casual Choir

Fancy belting out some cheese for two hours?

DO YOU FANCY yourself as an Ariana Grande, be it in the shower or out of it? Was your favourite part of mass always the BANGING hymns? (You can absolutely support secularism and admit that ‘Be Not Afraid’ still slaps.)

If the answer to all of the above is ‘yes’, you might be interested in the latest endevour from musical director Róisín Savage. She’s set up Casual Choir as a way for people to indulge their Mariah Carey desires without the commitment or shite tunes.

Casual Choir meets every second Monday to sing hits by the likes of Rod Stewart, Britney Spears and Oasis. Nothing is off limits – Casual Choir refuses to engage in music snobbery.

Musical director Róisín Savage got sick of having to turn people away from her regular gig as MD of The Line Up Choir, and started looking into a “no strings attached” singing set-up.

“I literally could not fit any more people into the rooms where we rehearsed,” she tells “I was talking to people on the waiting list about some pop up choirs I held over the summer.

I had people asking me “would you ever be able to do something on a week night?

There’s no auditions or sheet music – just good clean, choral fun. Róisín says that as many of her attendees have no formal music training, they found choirs where sheet music was required proved to be a barrier for some.

“I think the “no commitment” was probably the key, because people just wanted the opportunity to sing,” she said. “With this, you buy a ticket for the stand alone session.

If you miss a session, it doesn’t matter – we’re all starting from scratch.”

Casual Choir has been going from strength to strength since the initial Instagram post was put out in August looking for voices. 

“[Since August], it’s sort of spiralled from there. A lot of people have tried to email me, send me direct messages … It was just something that, if I didn’t pounce on then, it was a wasted opportunity.”

Classically trained, Róisín’s true musical love was awakened upon joining a gospel choir. There, she was taught by ear and embraced a more contemporary vocal style. It influenced her direction with The Line Up Choir – pop, rock, soul, anything you would hear on the radio.

That’s the appeal – I get to sing the songs that I love. I love classical choral work … It’s just something different. I love a bit of cheese!”

As sessions continue to sell out in advance, Róisín is hoping to locate a bigger venue after Christmas for future events (they currently rehearse at Our Lady’s Hospice at Harold’s Cross.) However, she says it’s still early days to be thinking about that with serious consideration.

Róisín assures that the emphasis of Casual Choir will always be on fun, not overly complicated arrangements.

Leave your worries at the door, come along for two hours of singing, working together as a group to see if we can finish a song … It’s exciting.”

The next Casual Choir takes place on 29 October. Email to be put on the mailing list for future events!

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