New Young Voice Collective (NewYVC)

NewYVC has got off to a great start this term. You can view their 2 minute Promo herecreated 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.

We’re Sending Out A Message

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 and beyond

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, 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

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!

CME Choral Conducting and Teaching Course

CME 2016This 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.

The 2016-17 CME Course for level 1,2 and 3 choral conductors and teachers is now open. Please find the flyer and booking form here.

Fallen Heroes

Fallen Heroes15 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.

Speak Out! Sing Out! Anti Bullying Project 2016-17

Speak Out! Sing Out! is an innovative, creative, one-day workshop devised to work with a whole class, or group, yr 5, 6, or 7 to compose a song collaboratively, developing language of emotional literacy. This special day has been developed and extended to wider London schools after its popular success in previous years. Click here to download the flyer and booking information (PDF).

Comments from both primary and secondary schools who have received this workshop include:

“Thank You SO MUCH for yesterday. What a fantastic day and what a fantastic song! I’ve got the ‘pin popping your ego’ hook stuck in my head right now”.

Hannah McWha, Head of Music, Rokeby School for boys, Newham

“Our Year 5 children worked on the Speak out! Sing Out! project with Living Song. They all engaged immediately with this creative approach during Anti-Bullying Week to produce a very thoughtful song. The children were very excited and were able to concentrate throughout the day on producing their lyrics and putting them to music. They, along with everyone at Grange are very proud of their recorded song!”

Susan Carter – Head Teacher, Grange Primary School

‘To The Future’ PRS for Music Foundation Composition Commission

PRS for Music Foundation logo

Link to PRS for Music Foundation article.

Living Song has been awarded £8500 by PRS to bring together a team of artists with a wide range of experience, including Errollyn WallenShammi Pithia, Amina Gichinga, Joseph Adelakun, Naomi Scarlett, Mohan Dhar and Stefan Vitalis. This is in partnership with Solid Harmony also funded for this project through Newham Council’s Go For It scheme. The artists are commissioned to work collaboratively to create a new choral piece for massed choir, which will be performed by NewYVC UNITE, based at Stratford Circus this summer 2017.

NewYVC UNITE Progress

Young Mayors ElectionIn partnership with Stratford Circus and funded through Youth Music, our young NewYVC UNITE workshop leaders have now finished leading workshops across 16 East London schools for this academic year. Rehearsals and preparation are now well underway for the singing celebration at Stratford Circus on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July, when the north and south clusters of schools will raise the roof in celebration of their singing community and the wonderful music they have been learning, including Dig Deep by Peter ChurchillRise Up by Ayyanna Witter-Johnson,  Handashwani Tarana by Ranjana Ghatak and Une Moto Di Gioja by Mozart, published through CME.  Wish us luck!

CME 2015-16

CME Institute logoThe CME East London 2015-16 choral teaching course has come to a close. 18 teachers achieved their level 1, 2 or 3 certification and 4 more are due to complete after one more day of participation. We also celebrated one certification at Artist Teacher level.

Dr. Doreen Rao led the fourth and final day, with Simon Werner and Jane Wheeler, contextualising the course into the bigger picture. During much practical work, delegates were reminded of the importance of choosing really great music for young singers and choirs, preparing the music and rehearsals in depth and with care, developing experientially oriented teaching techniques and nonverbal rehearsal methods and demonstrating performance practices that ‘embody the skills of adaptability, cooperation and respect’ in our ever changing world. Watch this space for the next course, beginning in November 2016.

A few quotes from delegates this year…

“As a first time delegate I have gained so much, not only as a conductor and leader but as a singer.”

“Keep going – this programme transforms lives.”

“An enjoyable experience where I have been stretched and challenged to improve my conducting technique and choral rehearsal processes.”

“It will influence my leading monumentally, especially the quality of listening.”

“It has been such a journey that has enabled me to grow.”

“It is so great that this course gives equally to the beginner and the most experienced musician and teacher. I always learn something new about theory or practice and I highly value this. For me this was the perfect progression from last year’s Level 1.”