All the King’s Men
All the King’s Men is a multi-award-winning a cappella group based at King’s College London.
“In three short years, All the King’s Men have gone from a little-known university a cappella group to the third best collegiate group in the world.” BroadwayBaby.com
Starting university can be daunting – what better way to make friends and feel good than by joining a choir, or in Henry Southern’s case starting one!
Henry gained experience of running choirs in Bangkok during his Gap year. He returned home to study music at King’s College London in 2009, got together a motley crew of freshers who all shared a passion for music and found a rehearsal space at the university. Over the course of the first term 12 members signed up and All the King’s Men was formed.
The decision not to charge a membership fee meant All the King’s Men would have to have to find another way to finance the choir. Henry’s top tip in sourcing funding is to be imaginative and think outside of the box.
All the King’s Men set up a website to raise their profile and started to approach music agents and promoters. They were soon being hired to do all sorts of gigs, from weddings to corporate functions. Alongside these events they enjoy busking and organise concerts with all profits from ticket sales going towards the next project. Money is also sought from corporate organisations through donations.
Finding the time to run the choir whilst studying proved to be a challenge – Henry found that the best way to overcome this was to ask for help from fellow members. Tasks like finding a larger audience to fill a venue are made easier when the responsibility is shared – each member is responsible for getting along 10 members of family or friends rather than expecting one person to take the lead.
Getting the word out there and fundraising are on-going challenges that take a lot of time, commitment and energy, but having other members share the responsibility helps and Henry always tries to remember to have fun!
“Without doubt, the most precious part of my involvement in the group is not the plethora of awards we have been fortunate enough to receive, but instead the family I have become part of, and the friends I have shared so many fantastic experiences with.” Henry Southern
All the King’s Men have been crowned Voice Festival UK University Winners, performed two sell out gigs at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, toured the USA and competed all over the world.
Henry has gone on to found a second choir called Reverie, recent highlights include an expansion of its educational initiatives with a residency at the Royal Hospital School (UK) and a choral partnership with the London Youth Choir. Whilst achieving all of this, and more, the focus has always been on having fun and making friends.