Lucy Hollins & Suzzie Vango

When, like Lucy Hollins and Suzzie Vango, you’ve conducted choirs in Trafalgar Square, in a sewage treatment works, in a Ugandan prison, in the slums of Mumbai, in a bus shelter on the Isle of Barra, among the sights and smells of Billingsgate Fish Market… you really do learn how to make them sound awesome.

Having met as wind-playing teenagers, Lucy and Suzzie both studied at Birmingham Conservatoire, and met again years later working for the wonderful vocal charity Music of Life. United in their love of a good brunch menu, puns and strong red lippy, they believe music can transform lives, empower individuals and build communities.

Lucy and Suzzie are evangelical about the power of proper warm-ups and the magic they can work on the sound of any choir. And they really know what they’re talking (or singing) about. At home and abroad, their experience spans leading vocal and choral projects with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and they’ve performed at all of the UK’s most prestigious concert halls, as well as in Paris, Hong Kong and New York.

Years (well, decades) spent vocal coaching, conducting and leading choirs has given both Lucy and Suzzie an unrivalled command of other people’s vocal folds; the list is long (you’ll need to take a good breath), and includes the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Association of British Choral Directors, Sing for Pleasure, Ex Cathedra Education, BBC, Glyndebourne, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Royal School of Church Music, London Symphony Chorus, Orchestra of the Swan, Choir of the Year and ChoirFest Middle East.

There’s generally some hilarity involved – Suzzie couldn’t resist the urge to high-five Desmond Tutu after they sang together, while Lucy has regularly entertained the masses in her pyjamas and dressed as a Christmas tree (not at the same time).

Beyond making choirs sound awesome, Lucy loves cheese, Harris Tweed, and Connect Four. Suzzie loves football, scotch eggs and her Welsh Hound, Wally.

How to Make Your Choir Sound Awesome’ is published by Banks Music