Back-office angels

The Oldie Article, 06/08/2011, Sarah Shannon

Do hard-nosed news hacks have a soul? Certainly, if the combined musical efforts of Channel 4’s Jon Snow and Guardian editor Alan Rus-bridger are anything to go by. Before an invited audience in the splendidly restored Christ Church Spitalfields the other evening, their poignant rendition of two Flanders and Swann favourites, ‘The
Slow Train’ and ‘I’m a Gnu’

brought tears to the Old Un’s jaded eyes. And not just be-cause Snow’s emotive singing never quite managed to keep up with Rusbridger’s effort¬less adding of the ivories.
The occasion was the launch of London’s first ever Office Choir of the Year com-petition, and among the other talents revealed were closet office choristers from the likes of international law firm Norton Rose, Willis Insur¬ance and the Guardian News & Media Group – these last three aptly named “Guardian’s

Angels’. Other star turns included the humorous singing doctors Instant Sunshine (oldies all three) and singer-songwriter Mara Carlyle, whose plaintive voice stunned the audience.
According to co-organisers Tessa Grobel and Jessie Maryon Davies of Music in Offices, there’s a huge enthusiasm for office choirs as a way of boosting staff morale, and they’re convinced the competition will help London sing through the Crunch. The Old Un can’t wait until the grand finale next spring.