CaMEO hosted the Your Song Concert as a culmination of a project encouraging and celebration of community singing. Featuring local children’s and community choirs, the concert formed part of the University’s Festival of Ideas 2014 and involved over 100 performers. Adopting this years festival theme, the first half involved the choirs sharing songs which expressed their unique ‘identity’, which complimented a contrasting second half, where all the choirs came together on stage to perform pieces from the work Zimbe! a setting of African songs by composer Alexander L’Estrange.
It was a fantastic opportunity for members of the local community to join with singers from the University of Cambridge, to perform in a unique, collaborative performance. It was a good opportunity for relationships between schools, community choirs, artists and the Faculty of Music to continue to grow and develop throughout this project. This included the opportunity for a number of children’s choirs who’d been involved in our previous Cycle of Songs project, to have the opportunity to perform at West Road Concert Hall for the first time. You can read more about the Cycle of Songs, the singing celebration of Cambridge’s Tour de France visit here:
The idea for this project evolved our of Cycle of Songs and the concert offered the opportunity to hear one of the songs commissioned for Cycle of Songs; Freedom performed live with with rapper Inja, supported by Sing! Community Choir and Revelation Rock-Gospel Choir.
A special scratch choir and university chorus were formed especially for the concert, which included those who’d never sung in a choir before as well as chapel choir singers from the University. The concert also featured local choirs including singers from Good Vibrations, Sing! Community Choir, Shout Aloud! Children’s Choir, Milton CofE Primary School and Cambridge Revelation Rock-Gospel Choir.
Continuing the theme of celebrating the joys of singing together, the concert featured a recording made with residents at HMP Bedford during our Taste of Africa project, which is part of CaMEO’s Outreach on going work in local prisons.
The concert was very well received:
“Great singing and great to see so many different choirs.”
“ Absolutely wonderful evening, inspired me to join a choir – Brilliant.”
Audience member and parent of child who performed
“ Thank you for yesterday. My daughter said it was the best night of her life. It was so much fun! Granny loved it too and is going back to Chippenham to look for a community choir! Thanks.”
Ellen, Scratch choir singer, with daughter in Shout Aloud!
“I enjoyed the concert very much, vibrant and colourful! Great to see so many different people together singing for fun. The children were the stars of the show. Great to see the conductors jumping on and off the podiums with energy and efficiency. Personally it was an unforgettable experience as I would never imagine that I can sing gospel songs with zest, action and joy!”
Rowena, scratch choir singer
“ I had a blast, it was great to sing in a different, proper venue, African songs are always fun, so it was exciting to do more of that style too.”
John, Sing! Community Choir member