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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Festive flashmob surprise for Carlisle superstore shoppers

A flashmob of singers brought the festive spirit to life at a Carlisle supermarket – and left shoppers open-mouthed.

Sainsbury flashmob photo
Alicia Walton taking part in the flashmob

Disguising themselves as customers, members of the Solway Singers descended on the city’s Sainsbury’s store in Caldewgate then suddenly burst into song.

Saturday shoppers were stopped in their tracks as members belted out the Hallelujah Chorus in style, with some even joining in.

The flashmob was organised by Sarah Briggs from the Solway Singers, who hoped to turn a potentially-mundane food shop into a memorable experience.

She teamed up with the Carlisle Youth Concert Band, who were already playing at the store to entertain the crowds in the run-up to Christmas.

Towards the end of their performance they started to play Hallelujah – the cue for the singers to ditch their trolleys and form a seemingly impromptu chorus.

Sarah said: “I’ve wanted to do it for about two years, after I was sent a YouTube clip of a choir doing a similar thing at a food court in America.

“Then I saw another at a supermarket in London and I just thought we have got to do this in Carlisle.

“I wanted it to look spontaneous and hopefully it did.

“We had only had one practice and a lot of the singers weren’t there, so it wasn’t that planned. All I did was make sure that people knew when to come in. I think it went really well. People seemed to be stopping and enjoying it.”

Choir members, who now plan to upload their own video to Youtube, also used the event to collect donations for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Lyn Young, who was conducting the youth band, said they all enjoyed being involved. “I know Sarah and she approached me with the idea, asking if I could get some musicians together. I thought it would be a good outing for my young band.

“We had no idea how it was going to go but it seemed to go down well and create a bit of excitement in the store,” she added.

Following the flashmob, the choir stayed to sing Christmas carols.

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