Just south of Santa Monica, wedged between a Whole Foods and Marie Callender’s, is a place of worship, St. Andrews Lutheran Church. Churchgoers fill its pews each Sunday, the words of hymns and scripture echoing throughout its holy walls.
On Thursdays, however, a different kind of congregation occurs.
Santa Monica resident Sue Fink and her Angel City Chorale fill the space with songs both classic and contemporary, a diverse crew of singers from all walks of life coming together to practice their passion.
Fink and her motley crew have been at it for 25 years and will celebrate this anniversary with their upcoming concert Silver and Gold: A Holiday Concert and Sing-a-long. The concert will feature holiday songs ranging from the genres of classical, contemporary pop, R&B gospel and more.
“What we try to do in these holiday concerts is give people a taste of everything,” Fink said. “For this one we’ll do something that feels familiar like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, then we try to give you a taste of the world.”
“A taste of the world” defines the group. TV writers, mechanics, teachers, psychologists and more all intertwine to create the makeup of Angel City Chorale, ages and ethnicities of all types represented.
This diversity in membership and style recently led them to a national audience on the TV show America’s Got Talent, where they got eliminated in the semifinals.
Fink and members say the experience was both unforgettable and raised their profile.
For a show that touts uniqueness, Fink and her members say their old-school singing group’s togetherness in a time of division is what stood out.
“We wanted to show a choir made up of what the world is made up of,” Fink said. “To come together to create something, that’s what unifies and builds community. We as people – black, white, Democrat, Republican – we have more in common than we think. We’re better than the sum of our individual parts.”
Michael Lever, who works in marketing at Fox Studios for his day job, echoed Fink’s sentiments.
“It’s such a beautiful image,” he said. “All these people here to make up one unified sound. It’s a beautiful picture of how the world should be. It’s wonderful to see what the group has represented for 25 years and do that on any stage, whether it’s AGT or a holiday concert. It hammers home that what we’re doing is the right thing and magnifies what we do in such a positive way.”
Angel City Chorale’s 25th Anniversary Silver and Gold: Holiday Concert and Sing-a-long takes place Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2, 7 p.m. at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010. For more information, visit angelcitychorale.org