Old-school flash mob too much for Plaza shoppers to Handel
CHRISTMAS shoppers enjoying a coffee at Sunshine Plaza yesterday had no idea they were about to become caught up in a festive flash mob.
Slowly, the crowd around Gloria Jean's began to grow - a few sharing pieces of paper and whispering in each other's ears.
Some were shaky and visibly nervous.
Others stayed under cover, sipping convincingly on their cuppas.
Then, in perfect unison, an eruption of voices rang through the Maroochydore shopping centre.
The singers - 38 of them in all - emerged from hiding in the crowd and launched into a stirring rendition of the chorus from Handel's Messiah.
Shoppers stopped in their tracks as the singers from Mapleton Community Choir and Sunshine Coast Choral Society belted out the famous tune.
The flash mob had been in the planning for months and musical director Ailsa Morehen said the response from unsuspecting shoppers was emotional.
"I was shaking, I found it hard to sing because I was trying to hold back my tears," Mrs Morehen said.
"Just watching everyone gather around us to watch and smile was spectacular."
Spectator Linda Dray, who had been finishing off her Christmas shopping, said she was surprised and delighted by the mob.
"It was lovely. It was a lovely surprise," she said. "I don't really love all the Christmas spirit, but that really got me into it.
"They definitely did a good job keeping it under wraps."
Mapleton Community Choir president Derek Hooper said the flash mob was a great way to draw exposure to classical music.
"Our flash mob is about bringing classical music to a place where it is not usually sung or played, and to residents of the Coast who would not normally go to choir performances," Mr Hooper said.
"Although most of them won't know who performed, it was about putting music out there in the public arena for all to enjoy."
Enjoy it they did before getting back to Christmas shopping as the choristers melted back into the crowd.