From Japan to Bexleyheath: A cappella group to perform at Edward Alderton after Okaya show

PUBLISHED: 10:52 01 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:54 01 April 2014

Blossom Close singers: Hilary Campbell, Ellie Martin, Phillipa Thomas and Ian Radcliffe

Blossom Close singers: Hilary Campbell, Ellie Martin, Phillipa Thomas and Ian Radcliffe


Teaching music to students day in day out might sometimes get the better of the Blossom Close harmony group.

But touring to far-flung destinations, such as Japan, and appearing on adverts shown on Sky, HBO and Channel 5 makes it all worthwhile.

Ian Radcliffe, 30, from Brighton, tours with the group, which will be appearing at the Edward Alderton Theatre on April 18 and 19.

He said: “We spent a week in Japan in October, where we sang at a cultural event called Okaya and the Japanese government paid for it all.”

On the group’s return from Japan, member Ellie Martin arranged for Blossom Close to come to Edward Alderton Theatre, in Bexleyheath.

Mr Radcliffe said the show at the Brampton Road theatre will be similar to the one the group put on in Japan.

“It is going to be a cappella arrangements, jazz arrangements things like that,” added the piano teacher.

He also hints the group will perform songs by Adele and Queen.

A cappella arrangements have really taken off in recent years after the success of Gareth Malone, presenter of the BAFTA winning TV series The Choir.

In the show, communities are galvanised by Malone and the power of song into performing on stage with remarkable success seemingly almost overnight.

A cappella brings a feeling of warmth to the singers, according to Mr Radcliffe.

The former choir boy said: “It is a really nice feeling making a nice sound with a group of people.

“It is rewarding to make harmonies - it is uplifting.”

Mr Radcliffe added there is audience participation at a concert with Blossom Close, whose name comes from a street in York where group director Hilary Campbell went to university.

“It is probably a little bit different to what you would normally see and you even get to join in,” said Mr Radcliffe.

Tickets are £10 and are available on the door for both Blossom Close concerts on April 18 and 19. If you would like to pre-book tickets, and for more information email

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