HUNDREDS of unsuspecting visitors to Meadowhall shopping centre stopped in their tracks to listen to a rousing singing flash mob performed by an amateur choir, wriotes Sarah Crabtree.
VIDEO: Watch footage of the flash mob at Meadowhall via YouTube, which can also be viewed on the iPhone and iPad - click the External Link in the column on the right.
More than 100 vocalists from South Yorkshire-based BeVox staged the spontaneous sing - to the delight of bemused shoppers who watched from the balconies, clapped along and filmed the stunt on their mobile phones.
The uplifting five-minute performance was a Motown medley of songs Stop! In The Name of Love, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Dancing In The Street, Reach Out I’ll Be There, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
To add to the surprise effect, in the seconds beforehand the singers had been browsing the aisles like regular shoppers - and some were even dressed in chefs’ whites to pretend to be part of a cookery demonstration in the food court nearby.
The singers performed a choreographed routine along with the music and were filmed in action for Meadowhall TV and video-sharing websites.
When the medley finished they dispersed without explanation back into the crowd.
The performance on Saturday lunchtime was the brainchild of BeVox musical director Tim Allen, who started the amateur choir last year.
Tim, from Barnsley, said the audience of amazed shoppers had been wowed.
“A number of singers overheard members of the public assuming we were a professional choir filming the next T-Mobile advert!” he laughed. “I was so proud to be a part of it I felt I could burst.”
BeVox is open without audition to anyone who loves to sing.
Members practise one evening a week and after 10 weeks, perform the songs they have learned.
Last week the choir put on three lunchtime concerts in Sheffield’s Winter Garden which raised over £220 for the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal and in December the choir staged a flash mob of Christmas carol singing at Sheffield railway station.
The Sheffield group rehearses on Thursday evenings at Springs Academy in Gleadless, and a new Barnsley group is starting up next month.
Singers interested in joining either are invited to free taster sessions later this month. Log on to www.bevox.co.uk for details.