The Citi Choir, a Year On
By Raf Lopez, Talent Manager, Citi Human Resources EMEA
August 12, 2014 11:42 AM
The Citi Choir was featured as part of a 2013 BBC TV series 'The Choir: Sing While You Work'
, fronted by well-known choirmaster, Gareth Malone. For this series the concept was to create choirs from scratch in five UK organisations. The program was seen by over 2.9 million viewers toward the end of last year.
We weren't sure how many people would be brave enough to put themselves out there to participate, but as it turned out, hundreds came to audition. Gareth Malone eventually selected 22 people who he thought would best represent the breadth of what Citi does and the diversity of our people - as well as being great singers of course.
The choir consists of a diverse group of employees working for Citi in London but with backgrounds spanning the globe (over 10 nationalities are represented). Choir membership consists of individuals from across the bank, ranging from a confidential waste disposer to the Chief Country Office of the UK. As Dom Sturges, an alto from Presentation Technology, puts it "What makes the choir special is the sense of teamwork and actively supporting one another. It's amazing how each of us has different strengths and contributions to make. I can't think of a better expression of Citi's diversity, in all senses of the word."
The choir to aims to highlight the best of Citi in everything that they do and have a repertoire consisting of songs to reflect on some of the challenges of the recent past and to promote Citi's principles of Common Purpose, Leadership, Ingenuity and Responsible Finance.
Since the TV series, the choir has grown in size. We auditioned for some new choir members, growing to a group of over 30 members. The choir has performed their songs to colleagues, the public, and clients. Internally they've helped with the launches of the Straight Allies Network, an LGBT network in London, as well as an EMEA wide network intended to recognize and connect staff who have worked at the bank for over 30 years.
In the past few months, the Citi Choir has had the privilege to perform at some amazing events. The choir has performed at public concerts at iconic London venues like the Hammersmith Apollo and the Hackney Empire alongside the famous Pink Singers with over 2,000 in attendance. Recently, the choir participated in Word Busk Day
in support of charity 'Musequality'; this was a Guinness World Record attempt with more than 1000 buskers taking place in 32 countries. The choir also performed at the Pride Gala Dinner
at the Mansion House, London, in front of special guests, and at the Victoria & Albert Museum to support The Citi Private Bank Art14, a global art fair in London and the Private Bank's biggest client event of the year.
The choir also made its North American debut and helped to raise over 2 million USD for cancer research singing at a client's fundraising event in New York City. Emily Packer, a soprano from the Derivatives Solutions Group, believes "[choir performances] provide a nice break from the usual menu of activities at client dinners and gives clients something unique to remember Citi by." Our client in New York said Citi was the highlight of the evening for them.
The Citi Choir meets each week for rehearsals, and continues its work to engage colleagues, clients, and charity in the future. They hope to become a regular part of the welcome orientation of UK employees and support local Citi sponsored fundraising efforts.
Singing and music in the office is inspiring and good for the soul, the future of the Citi Choir is bright!
*Tagged as: citi choir, common purpose, diversity, employees, ingenuity, leadership, responsible finance