Norwich choir shine as they perform with Take That at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 15:37 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 31 May 2019
Norwich choir Invidia Voices had an evening they will never forget as they joined Take That on stage at Carrow Road.
Invidia Voices were handpicked by Take That's creative team after they watched videos of the choir on YouTube.
Founders and husband and wife duo Matt, 41, and Alex Emmerson, 42, both from Thorpe St Andrew, ignored the email at first as they "thought it was a spam".
They eventually replied after the Take That team sent another email a week later and then the choir held auditions to whittle their 300 members down to 38 which was the number needed on stage.
Invidia Voices then went to training in London for all the local choirs that were performing at the 52 dates on the Odyssey greatest hits tour and spent every Sunday for five weeks rehearsing.
They performed on Thursday night at Carrow Road alongside the group on 1995 number one hit Never Forget and Relight My Fire which also featured an appearance from popstar Lulu who they got to rehearse with in her dressing room.
Mrs Emmerson said: "We got an email in March time saying they had seen our videos on YouTube and if we wanted to perform at Carrow Road.
"At first we ignored it as we thought it was spam but then we were emailed again the next week by Heidi who does the PR for Kim Gavin who is the creative director on the tour and also did the 2012 Olympics.
"We waited to tell the choir until it was all confirmed and said at rehearsals and there were gasps and screaming as there are some hardcore Take That fans."
Invidia Voices first formed by the couple in 2013, who are both professional musicians, and met when Alex auditioned as a vocalist for Matt's band.
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The group is based at St Luke's Church in Aylsham Road, Norwich, and also has groups in Acle, North Walsham, Diss and Wymondham.
The rock and soul choir doesn't hold any auditions for the choir as "the only audition people need is a love of singing" but they had no choice for the concert.
Mrs Emmerson said: "We held auditions at our Norwich centre and had 120 members turn up and it was the hardest thing to choose.
"Once we had chosen the 38 names we messaged them separately and made them think they had to come for a callback to be a reserve.
"We then had some fun and made them audition again and then we told them they had made it through.
"Forget The X Factor, it was insane. There were people jumping up and down and it was five minutes of complete and utter euphoria."
They were so well rehearsed that they only needed to perform once during the rehearsals on Thursday afternoon at the stadium.
Speaking about the show, Mrs Emmerson added: "It was amazing to see everyone buzzing and we were there from 4pm to 10pm and when our gowns were bought in everyone started to squeal.
"We were then asked if we wanted to warm up with Lulu in her dressing room and we went through the whole thing twice and were harmonising with her and it was insane as she has such a magnetic energy and we were so close.
"On stage Mark kept smiling and winking and giving the thumbs up to the front row and all three really interacted with us and one member Martin who stood at the back was tapped on the shoulder by them as they went on stage.
"There were tonnes of choir members in the audience and instead of being gutted they were so supportive which is what we are all about."