Dora Roarers

The ‘Dora Roarers’ Street Band

The ‘Dora Roarers’ Street Band

Christelle Heikkila on how a local band is preparing something rather special for the coronation

When neighbours in Dora Road, a street in Wimbledon Park, started organising a street party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it was the start of something a bit special.  A plea went out on the Dora Road WhatsApp group if there were any musicians willing to play some live music.  A couple of friends on the road both loved singing, one of the neighbours was a very accomplished guitarist and with one of the husbands being good on the bass guitar, that was the start of the ‘Dora Roarers’ street band!  A few other neighbours joined in, and two sets of well-known songs were performed at the party – and it’s fair to say, many said it made the party!

But that was only the beginning. Yamini Franzini took it upon herself to become the bona fide musical director for the Dora Roarers. She started planning for the next performance for the King’s Coronation in earnest.  She has great credentials – she was part of the choir who performed at the Queen’s very last Christmas speech!

This year the Roarers have been lucky to add a fantastic pianist to their group so there will be about 10 singers, one acoustic guitar, one bass guitar and a piano on the day of the Coronation Street party.  The singers have been challenged to learn harmonies : Soprano, Alto and one brave Tenor.  Paul, the tenor, was so keen to perform at the party, he has moved his 40th wedding anniversary celebration. Yamini has recorded each harmony herself and provided lyrics and notes for every song and urged every Dora Roarer to practice at home (and they really have been practicing!).  But the biggest highlight must be the rehearsals together.  For the last few months, the Dora Roarer neighbours have been taking it in turns to host singing practice.

Typically, they involve some nibbles and a few glasses of wine, and there have been evenings filled with music and pure joy. But alongside weekly rehearsals for the singers, the musicians have been having their own dedicated sessions too.  The last week of rehearsals will see the singers accompanied by the musicians for the first time.

So, this isn’t just any old street band, this is serious stuff.  And the Dora Roarers sound great – even if I say so myself.