10 Years of LYC #4: Sonny
In our fourth 10th anniversary blog, LYC Cambiata Boys member Sonny tells us about his LYC journey.
Published February 2023
I joined LYC in about 2018, I was in year 4 at the time. I was just doing the basic stuff at school, the usual subjects like Maths and English. There was no advanced music, though we used to go for drumming every Monday and there was a school choir. We had assemblies on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, on Mondays we’d practise songs that our head teacher used to pick out.
Some people from LYC used to come to my school back when I was in year 3, we ended up doing a big concert down in Watford in the summer, and I ended up doing a solo. I seem to remember it came out quite well! So two of us from my school – me and a girl from my year, Sophia – were selected to audition. I’m actually pretty good at auditions. I don’t really feel nervous when I come to sing, because it’s something I enjoy and comes naturally so I don’t feel under pressure. I had to sing a little piece called “Ah Poor Bird” and then I found out I had got in, and joined LYC Junior Boys.
I didn’t know any of the other boys at first. But I actually got really friendly with everyone especially with the conductor Ben, we used to make jokes about our football teams – my team is Arsenal and his team is West Ham, but we could both joke about Tottenham! My first impressions were really good, because I knew that the choirs did proper concerts and that was special. And the rehearsal sessions were really well planned and sorted out, and I really like that cos it helps with my energy – I know what’s coming so I can put the right about of energy and concentration in. I remember a little bit of my first concert. My friend Alec had a solo, I felt good for him.
I’m in Cambiata choir now, so I’m now singing more second soprano, and in the Royal Variety Performance I sang alto. I’m going through voice change. I’d be happy to end up as a Tenor or a Bass! Singing tenor would be good because you get to do the harmonies, and that’s kind of my style. Though basses get to do beatboxing and that’s cool. Our conductor in Cambiata is Nav. He likes to do work and he’s strict but he does it for the benefit of all of us. Sometimes we all talk a bit too much so he has to move us round a bit, but he also uses it as a way of testing our ability to move parts. But he’s a fun guy. Fun but fair!
We have a little group of friends, four to six of us. They’re more close to each other location-wise because they’re from Central London, I’m up in Barnet. So LYC is the only time I see these guys. I have some friends groups at school, but nothing compares to this group. It keeps it fresher because we don’t see each other every day. We all got really close at the Royal Variety Performance, and then were all in touch during the World Cup because we all support England.
In lockdown I remember being on the computer and doing lots of LYC sessions, and we did rehearsals for concerts, and concerts too, there were pre-made videos for us to sing along with to make the pieces come together. My mum appreciated that I could still do LYC, it was a different way to keep us entertained, also to communicate with our friends. After lockdown I remember the first day we came back together was May 12th, it felt a little weird to be back, but it all just sort of clicked back in straight away. Some people’s voices had changed a bit. (I think it was during lockdown that my voice started to slowly, slowly change.)
This last year I’d say the piece we had to do for the Royal Variety Performance was my favourite piece. The day before the performance was very overwhelming. Rachel said if you haven’t seen the Royal Albert Hall your jaw will drop! I was coming out of South Kensington station, I was walking from there, we took a left then a right, then it came into view and I was like “wow”. It looked massive like a football stadium inside too, even though it’s not got as many seats as a football stadium it still feels the same huge size. And the noise just reverberates around. [LYC Honorary Patron] Gareth Malone was there too, he was very nice to us, he said: “You’ll do really well, everyone will be really impressed.”
I’m definitely looking forward to going back to the Royal Albert Hall for the 10th anniversary concert! There’s two songs that we’re learning which I really enjoy, one piece from ‘The Greatest Showman’ and another one called ‘Can’t Hold Us.’ And I’m also really looking forward to seeing the effect that the Hall has on the other LYC members who haven’t seen it yet! Also I’m looking forward to singing to my family in the audience – I think there’ll be about eight or nine of us! My parents, my little brother, my three grandparents, my cousin, my auntie…
LYC has definitely helped the way I sing. I just really enjoy the sessions, all the other singers are great, the teachers are really helpful with teaching you about the music. It’s helped my musical knowledge and how I sing.
- Member, LYC Cambiata Boys
- Years with LYC: Five
- Favourite London building: Can I have two? Tower Bridge AND the Shard!
Five songs I’m loving right now: