Why form a multi-faith male choir?

FIRE 23 June Photos by Neal Eiserman (5)

On Thursday 26 September our new male choir EastEnd Notes will come together for the first time for a free taster session. Led by Omar Shahryar, EastEnd Notes will be a multi-faith choir bringing together men from all different walks of life; but why form a specifically multi-faith musical ensemble and what benefits will it bring to the community?

The sense of community and belonging you get from group singing has been well-documented. It’s not just about the music, but the social aspects involved in creating music with others. In a choir, music acts as a bonding force which strengthens communication and fosters good relations between groups.  Choirs present an opportunity for people to be part of something exciting and get vocal by expressing themselves by using one of the most powerful instruments, the voice. Singers feel part of a team where every individual has an important role, and when you create music, you make something happen. A good performance is product of teamwork!

We’re very passionate about diversity at Spitalfields Music; it’s reflected in our programming of events, the musical activities we deliver, and the people we work with. Spitalfields itself is a very diverse area, with a long and fascinating history of immigration; from the Irish to the Huguenots to the Bangladeshi community, the residents of Spitalfields come from a broad range of backgrounds and bring with them many rich cultural heritages.

In creating EastEnd Notes, we wanted to create an opportunity for men from these communities to come together, celebrate their differences yet discover their similarities. In this setting, music is used to form social bonds between people of different spiritual beliefs; you can share your passion for music and singing without having to share religious beliefs. The choir becomes a unique sociable experience where people from various cultural backgrounds can create music together in a friendly environment.

EastEnd Notes is about building a choir from an existing community, but that creates a new community in and of itself.

Also note that although EastEnd Notes is termed a ‘multi-faith’ choir, this does of course mean that atheists and agnostics are welcome to join, as all beliefs are welcomed.

If you’re interested in joining a choir (or have a man in your life that you think would enjoy the opportunity), come along to the taster sessions on Thursday 26 September and Thursday 10 October.

The free course culminates in a performance at our Winter Festival alongside The Crowd, the ensemble for David Lang’s new 1000-voice work, Crowd Out.

If you’re interesting in finding out more about EastEnd Notes, contact Laura Fensom on laura.fensom@spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk

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