The four strands of the Tonic Choir, from Totteridge, Hatch End and Radlett, are coming together for a very special performance at the Chorus Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, which opens the Southbank Centre’s summer-long Festival of Neighbourhood by bringing together thousands of singers across the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The festival weekend consists of workshops, rehearsals and performances, kicking off with the opening event – a mass-sing of Jerusalem by the biggest gathering of singers onsite that the centre has ever attempted, which will include the 100 members of the various Tonic Choirs.

“About 800 of us, from maybe 30 choirs, will be singing out on the riverside terrace,“ says conductor Philip Barnett. “The tension is mounting this week!“

As well as taking part in the opening event, the Tonic Choirs will set up at their own choir trading station, where members will be on-hand to teach visitors and singers from other choirs a part of their favourite piece.

They will also have their own half-hour slot in the Clore Ballroom, where they will be performing their usual eclectic mix of songs. Among other things, they will be singing Little Shop of Horrors, Whistle Down the Wind, Lambeth Walk, Pastime With Good Company, which was written by Henry VIII, Aqua Marina, the theme tune from Stingray, and a Japanese folk song called Sakura.

“It’s been quite a challenge co-ordinating members of our four choirs,“ laughs Philip. “We’ve had bits of each choir coming in and rehearsing separately. The 100 people we’ll be taking to the Royal Festival Hall won’t get to sing together as an entity until we get there. It’s a little bit scary, but I’m sure it will be fine!“