Disclaimer: This is my own personal list based on my movie knowledge, even with my experience in the independent movie genre. The more well-known choir scenes and clips you'll find will definitely make this list. However, there will be a few scenes that could surprise you, adding a new tv series/movie to your long list of things you should check out, but haven't yet.
1. Sister Act
It's the famous choir scenes that Whoopi Goldberg performs in a quirky, yet hilarious way. Oh Happy Day is a classic scene in the movie. The timid choir and soloist find their confident voices through the help of Whoopi Goldberg, with the higher-ups in the school surprised at what she put together for students. There's also an especially high note from the soloist that earns cheers from the crowd.
Even though this small love story within the greater story arc is one of the most talked about where the husband's best friend holds up cue cards declaring his love for his best friend's wife. It's cheesy. However, the intro wedding scene to this story is great, in my opinion. Not many people can pull off a surprise choir in the balcony of a church, including the soloist being singer Lynden David Hall singing a Beatles' song, but hey this is move magic for you. Some of the orchestra performers even stand up at the back of the church, disguised as guests. These elements create a memorable movie scene.
3. New Girl
This is one of my favorite tv shows, so I have a bias towards their storytelling and relatability in television. Even though it's another case of movie magic, I keep on going back to this less than perfect Christmas scene where the main actress, Jess gets a Christmas surprise. The gang of her lovable roommates and friends, messed up Secret Santa, so she didn't receive a gift this year. Her then boyfriend, Robbie, makes up for it by having shredded paper snow fall on her on an LA sidewalk while a a choir in the middle of the street sings to her. It features Darlene Love singing, so you can't get much better than this treasure.
I'm a sappy, rom-com person, so this scene is great for me. It has elements of the developing romance brewing, but more importantly has well-known actors, a classic pop song, and strong voices. Queen Latifah even calls out the more pop-minded elements and asks the soloist, played by Keke Palmer, to silence them. Not focusing on the riffs, but instead her soul and tone behind the music, creates a soulful rendition of Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson.
It features another Beatles' song, but it has all of the elements of a great movie scene. Drama in war and death play out, showing the consequences of war. We also see the side by side of two families experiencing grief. At the little boy's funeral, we get the choir scene that would make even the hardest of hearts start to soften. It speaks to more nationally-minded conflicts through these two opposing scenes that show the commonalities between families, regardless of race and socio-economic backgrounds.
As choir directors, we hope you find inspiration in these choir scenes. If you need staging equipment for your choir, like choir risers, feel free to contact us for a quote.