The youth choir based at Stratford Circus has had a busy couple of months. They were invited to join a massed choir for the WHY? Festival at Southbank, London in October. During a break between the rehearsals and performance with the Roundhouse Choir, The David Idowu Choir and the Royal Docks Singstars among others, NewYVC performed their own set in the Clore Ball Room Bar to the enjoyment of the guests. It was a wonderful, musical day led by Osnat Schmool from Filament Theatre, helping our new members to feel part of the choir and culminating in a grand performance in the Royal Festival Hall, which involved additional youth groups including In Harmony, Lambeth.
The following month NewYVC performed alongside the London International Gospel Choir in the beautiful Covent Garden St Paul’s Church as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival A joyful evening had by all!
Meanwhile the NewYVC Associate young artists have been teaching choirs and singing groups in 16 partner schools across East London this term. They prepared everyone for two Cluster rehearsals with NewYVC UNITE massed choir. The fabulous Gouri Choudhury joined the artistic team for the Clusters as a guest artist, introducing five hundred children Vande Materam, a traditional and much loved Indian Song, especially arranged by Steve Lodder for NewYVC UNITE.
Once again Living Song was invited back to lead the Turn It Up Festival for all Year 4 pupils at Plaistow Primary School this month. 60 pupils created their own Turn It Up Blues while learning about developments in blues, jazz and pop music since the 1920’s. Working with two artists through Living Song, the children’s teachers were also inspired, not only because of their pupils 100% engagement, but because of their own enjoyment of singing and co-writing the songs!
A fantastic first day of the CME teaching and conducting course at Stratford Circus. Guest conductor David Lawrence and the faculty introduced the music and CME philosophy to 27 delegates from all over London and the UK. The room was filled with singing in the Circle Of Sound. Eight pieces for choirs from the CME series will be the focus of the work on this course, Let Beauty Awake by Vaughn Williams, Inngiqtuq (She Sings) by Mark Sirrett, and Trouble Fly by Patricia M Runkle. We very much look forward to digging even deeper into techniques through the music with Mandy Miller and Simon Werner on 7th January for day two of CME London.
Living Song has been invited to be part of the scoping team of organisations in Newham to plan and deliver a Newham Word Festival next year (working title). This will raise interest and skills in reading and literature for all residents across Newham whilst contributing to the corporate aims of:
- A strong and cohesive community
- An active and connected community
- Young people get the best start in life
- People are healthy
Living Song brings a vision of the power of singing and songwriting to enhance the experience of reading and a team of artists, passionate about the power of the word in song and rhyme. They are skilled in facilitating collaborative song making through reading and telling stories, transforming them into new songs for their makers to remember and enjoy for some time to come.
NewYVC has got off to a great start this term. You can view their 2 minute Promo here, created by Quirx Production for young people to know what opportunities await them if they join! Teachers from schools participating in the massed choir programme met at Stratford Circus to network and explore the wide range of repertoire their students will be singing this year. the music includes works by Handel, Vaughn Williams, Benjamin Britten, R.A. Rahman, David Brunner, the Isley Brothers and more, including a range of world folk music. Our Young Artist team also spent a day preparing to lead workshops alongside teachers in the 16 participating schools.
Our new song is in the process of being released now. You can find it on Youtube here. The inaugural performance by the NewYVC UNITE choir will be on 18th July 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall. We’d like to thank PRSF once again for funding the team to write this. Anyone interested in performing this with their choirs, there is a backing track, master track and score available. Do get in touch.
NewYVC returns to Stratford Circus this month, for another thirty-six week run of rehearsals, clustered schools workshops and performances, including the Brandenburg Festival, the WHY? Festival at Southbank and their very own event at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank. To make enquiries about choir and how to join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jane Wheeler.
The choir ended the summer term with a fantastic two night event at Stratford Circus, in which they were the host choir to the sixteen schools taking part in the UNITE massed choir, funded by Youth Music over two years. Nelson Primary, St.Bonaventure’s, Sarah Bonnell and Lister schools also contributed their own solo performances, helping to make the event a great success, in which songs in eight different languages were sung!
This year the Young Artists who’ve supported the project so far are promoted to Associate Artists, in recognition of their growing professional status. We will be recruiting four Young Artists under twenty-five to continue the great work already achieved and look forward to seeing the Associate Artists at rehearsals, school workshops and all the events on this rich and diverse singing programme.
Forest Voices starts back stronger than ever this term, after their wonderful event at Forest Gate Library in the summer. The choir hosted their own event, funded by ‘Lets Get The Party Started’ funding from Newham Council. They performed a one and a half hour set from memory, accompanied by Nick Bowers-Broadbent on piano and his ten year old son on drums!
The choir followed the success of this event by offering a ‘sing-a-long’ event at the Forest Gate Festival, which had the audience singing new world songs along with some old party favourites. The choir meet every Thursday in term time from 7.15 – 8.45 pm at Woodgrange Infant’s School, Sebert Rd, Forest Gate, E7. PLEASE COME! ALL are WELCOME!
This summer Living Song organised an inaugural Intensive CME Leadership weekend for Artist Teachers and advanced conductors with Dr. Doreen Rao. The University of Cambridge Primary School hosted twelve delegates in the beautiful new build school. We are hopeful that this will become an annual, or biannual opportunity for advanced choral leaders to collaborate and share deep learning through extraordinary repertoire.
15 of The Vocal Collective of young artists from across East London were brought together once again in July by Living Song to perform for the Summer In The Square event in Mayfair, London. They brought energy and beautiful harmonies and enthralled audiences with their two forty minute sets of a cappella singing and dancing. The event was produced by Go2Musicians who booked The Vocal Collective after their successful introduction at a Christmas Market last year. The young artists sang a range of classics by David Bowie and Prince including Heroes, When Doves Cry and Purple Rain, arranged for a cappella performance by the group with Jane Wheeler, one of their mentors.