Spitalfields Singers

Last Thursday lunchtime saw the first gathering of our new choral group, Spitalfields Singers. Under the effervescent direction of Suzi Zumpe and Camille Maalawy we explored using our voices to show different tones and characters, introducing ourselves through voice and gesture and portrayed the story of a small boy’s desperate struggle for a banana!

Thoroughly warmed up, we then turned to a Manx lullaby in a striking arrangement by John Barber with additional texture added on viola by one of our Apprentice Animateurs, Neil Valentine. Despite being only the first session the blend of voices and richness of tone was beautiful to hear and promises much for the future. It was also great to hear the group tackle John Barber’s work, as he has a special relationship to the group as composer of our newly commissioned Opera in Pieces.

An Opera in Pieces is being developed by John, and fellow composer Hazel Gould, alongside our local community of singers and musicians. The work will be premiered during the 2011 Summer Festival and is being launched on 26 June, as part of this year’s Summer Festival, in a day of performances and workshops to introduce the creative team and featured artists, among whom are The Sixteen, our women’s choir Women sing East, and the newly formed Spitalfields Singers.

It promises to be an exciting project and Thursday’s session was a great beginning. The group were brimming with enthusiasm which really shone through in their singing and by the end of the first session they were happily singing in four parts, with the more experienced members ably supporting those to whom singing is new.

Cathy Birch
Programme Manager: Learning & Participation

The group is open to all comers with no experience necessary, no ability to read music, and definitely no auditions. There are still a few spaces at this stage so if reading this has inspired you to get involved check out our website for more information. Otherwise, come and join us on 26 June!

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