Current members of In the Smoke
Vish is a doctor, researcher, and all-round good egg based in London. He has been singing in a cappella groups since 2003, when he joined Out of the Blue as a tenor. He remembers when all of this was just fields. In his spare time he enjoys running, bookshops, nice pens and casual non-conformism.
He’s a chef, he’s a tenor, he’s a hero with a blender! A whizz on all things green, you’ll know that the room has lit up with a dose of our unique brand of razzle dazzle! Your ears will tingle and he’ll leave you with a quiver up and down your spine… Our advice to you is to watch out for dynamite Daz!
We’re very lucky to have Andre. He has two things that many other Smokies can only dream of: effortless style and “moves like Jagger”! Luckily for us, he has more style than he really needs so is able to share some with us mere mortals when needed! Jagger has been in touch though, requesting his moves back!
Ian “Fleming” Higgins’ career is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. What is known cannot be disclosed except these few declassified facts. He once tried to arrange a day trip to Uruguay. His file states that he was 009 in Schola Cantorum of Oxford’s elite 35 and covert surveillance suggested he has been “working abroad” recently. The Kremlin denies all knowledge. Some say he only knows two facts about a cappella, and one of them is wrong. All we know is that he is called Ian.
Michael is a teacher and freelance musician (www.mdhmusic.com). He is a former Musical Director of both In the Smoke and Out of the Blue, and working on education projects with VF-UK (www.thevoicefestival.co.uk) to help spread a cappella further and wider. In his spare time he likes to put on sunglasses, sit quietly and think about clouds and food.
In between glamorous trips to Florence as an international art pilgrim, Rachel floods the In the Smoke canvas where the rest of us try to stay between the lines with our vocal crayons! She can let it ring out with some southern soul and bring some gentle warmth to any jazz standard, and she is also very, very, very, very nice!
Hazel invented snakes and ladders. Fact! She also holds the British and World Records for eating soup with chopsticks, but not many people know that either. In fact, Hazel’s remarkable background and sure to be stellar future are shrouded in unanswered questions! Many people, for example, have asked who Hazel Older is but no-one, not even Hazel, has been able to give a satisfactory answer.
A seasoned choral and stage performer, Anna is loving every minute of her relatively new foray into the world of a cappella. In her spare time, Anna works as a digital project manager and also enjoys sarcasm, eating, daydreaming, all manner of linguistic geekery, occasional running, anything ridiculous, and Microsoft Excel.
Long ago, Katie was a soprano in the Oxford Belles. Then she had an inexplicable eight-year a cappella-less void before seeing the light and joining In the Smoke. Katie is an ex-civil servant and newspaper reporter and now works for a campaigning organisation. Katie’s interests include cheese, films of the 70s, Lancashire seaside resorts, her cat and thinking about what she’ll have for her tea.
Having previously sung against ItS in competitions with a cappella trio Make Do & Mend alongside past ItS hero Marianne, Lizzie decided that if she couldn’t beat ’em, joining ’em would be infinitely more fun! When not singing with the smoky crew, Lizzie can be found in ENT surgery/research (and happily dispenses vocal advice for free within the ItS family!).
As the youngest member of ItS, Matthew’s unwrinkled face matches his smooth bari-tones. From his rugged northern roots of Wakefield Cathedral to the southern charm of Corpus Christi Chapel Cambridge, from a cappella pop to Mendelssohn’s Elijah, from womb to rehearsal room, he has been adding his own unique harmonies to life whenever possible.
Originally hailing from the sunny climes of Australia, Tom’s love of a cappella music transcends international borders. While completing his PhD in California, Tom sang with numerous collegiate a cappella groups including UC Berkeley’s DeCadence and the Cal Jazz Choir. When not singing, Tom can be found pondering the mysteries of the universe as a theoretical physics researcher at Imperial College.
Laura is working as an education researcher in London. She is fairly new to the a cappella world, having spent more time teaching primary school children how to kill happiness through playing a recorder. She has sung opera, also known as pantomime with vibrato. And choral music, which is pantomime without vibrato. But also without pantomime. It was very minimalist (under the cassocks). She is an ardent convert to all things a cappella.
Nick is a baritone, handyman, arranger, dad, a cappella nut, business manager, countertenor, gardener, computer techie, coach, cook, sleeper, breather and clothes wearer. Sometimes he is all of these things at once, and sometimes he misses one or two of them out for a while. Hopefully it won’t be the clothes wearer bit.
Josie has been a certified a capella geek for many years, previously singing with university groups Cadenza and The Kings Chix. Her voice is much like her sense of humour: low range. A radiologist by day, her other interests include holidaying, eating, drinking and lying down.
Melissa Harteam Smith
Phil de Grouchy