In the past few years, we have helped churches to start new musical activities which have benefited hundreds of people in their communities…
The Cantignorus Chorus
The Cantignorus Chorus, of St. Paul’s West Hackney, welcomes a diverse group of people into its membership, including vulnerable and marginalised adults who are served by charities meeting in the church hall. The Cantignorus Chorus brings together a 60-strong adult choir who, in addition to members of the church congregation, are staff and service users from:
North London Action for the Homeless
Hackney Winter Night Shelter
Open Doors charity
4Sight mental health lunch club
Over 70s dance group
Growing Communities Gardening Project
The Cantignorus Chorus met for the first time in October 2013. At the end of November 2013, it made its first professional recording, ‘Holding out a helping hand’ (available on iTunes). On this single, the adult choir was joined by 60 local children (aged between 6-8) from Shacklewell Primary School, and the choristers of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Groups we have helped to start
Stepney Sings! is an exciting new choir based at the Tower Project, a life-changing charity for people with complex needs and disabilities in East London.
This initiative grows out of a smaller choir, run by Stepney Salvation Army in partnership with SingSpire. Stepney Sings! was launched in March 2014, and now has over 30 members. It gave its first performance to carers and young people of the Tower Project in May 2014.
This choir offers space for valuable shared cultural experiences; the choir comprises carers, service users, and local community members from Stepney.
Babysong is a weekly singing group run by the Salvation Army in Stepney, for babies and toddlers and their parents/carers. Babysong is designed to strengthen the psychological bonds between adult and child, through song. It also actively seeks to encourage and support people of difference in their encounters.
Babysong Stepney has benefited a diverse community of over 150 local families who have regularly attended to date.
Smart Crew Stepney
Smart Crew was a Musical Theatre extension of Stepney Salvation Army’s Sunday-school equivalent, ‘Smarties.’ It brought together children from different primary schools in the area, who worked towards termly musicals.
Productions included: Jonah: A Fishy Tale (spring 2012), The Landlord’s Cat (Christmas 2012), Noah and the Deadly Rainfall (summer 2013 with words written and music composed by the children of Smart Crew), One Winter’s Night (Christmas 2013), The Piper (summer 2014).
Babysong Stoke Newington
Babysong Stoke Newington met for the first time in January 2014. The group has since welcomed over 60 local families, of different backgrounds, on a regular basis.
Babysong Stoke Newington follows the Hackney school term. Babysong continues to meet each week during term time. More information is available here.
Hackney Churches Children’s Choir
Building on our success in Hackney with the Cantignous Chorus, we piloted an exciting new children’s choir in Hackney. We worked in partnership with four churches and three local primary schools, bringing together over 30 local children, all of whom are passionate about singing.
The choir nurtures the potential and talent of children who perhaps don’t share the same musical opportunities as other children their age. One of its founding values is engaging new audiences in traditional choral music. It prides itself on teaching the principles and practices that might be found in a choir school.
At the end of the choir’s pilot phase (April—July), the Hackney Children’s Choirs sang with St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir in the Cathedral. It also worked with renowned British composer, Will Todd, on his beautiful anthem composed for The Queen, ‘The Call of Wisdom.’ It continues to be run by St Paul’s West Hackney, in partnership with St Paul’s Cathedral.