East-West Associate Singers and Soho Poly Theatre, University of Westminster
The iconic Soho Poly Theatre will be the venue for a pilot series of fortnightly sessions in September and October leading to an informal sharing of songs for friends and family. The pilot aims to trial the venue as a place for ensemble singing before refurbishment works commence in November.
Members of the University and the local community are invited to join the East-West Associate Singers www.eastwestgalachorus.com and explore singing in different languages and styles, including traditional folk music from around the world, musical theatre, and classical works.
A fun and accessible series of ensemble singing sessions led by Mark Oldfield, a professional specialist practitioner for everyone to explore a diverse selection of music whilst building individual vocal technique. Non-readers of music are welcome.
- How will it work
We will learn by ear or with sheet music. We will begin each session with a warm-up for everyone to experience and understand how they sing and perform.
- What is the material?
A diverse range of songs in different languages and styles to include:
I-Cantar – Jay Althouse (Spanish) Yarmouth Fair (English Folk)
Shibolet Basadeh (Hebrew Folk) Blue Bird – Charles Stanford
Ave Verum Corpus – Mozart
Send in the Clowns – from the musical, Little Night Music – Sondheim
Wide Ocean/ Descendants of the Dragon [大海/ 龍的傳人] – arr. Samuel Louis 劉曉桐
- When and where – 4 Saturday sessions: 2 – 4pm:
September 10 September 24 October 8
October 22, followed by an informal sharing for friends and family at 4.15pm
At the Soho Poly Theatre, University of Westminster, 12 Riding House Street, London W1.
- What to expect
Mark will facilitate ways for everyone to explore singing together, whatever your experience in a safe and friendly learning environment.
Mark will show you
- how the breath fuels your singing;
- how the body and mind work in sync;
- how to deliver your story in a performance.
Charges: To cover costs, singers can subscribe for the whole series £90 for the 4 sessions: or £25 per single session, booked in advance. Concessions available for students and low income. To reserve a place, please contact: Sing@eastwestgalachorus.com
We worked to boost people’s morale by engaging them in online Zoom group singing as a sharing experience. Every week, we extended our circle of participants further, including friends from various choral groups in the UK as well as from USA and Europe.
Feedback on the East-West Zoom sessions
An update on our Zoom sessions
Throughout the Pandemic, we sang on Zoom until live group singing was allowed again. In response to requests, we extended our 40-minute zoom sessions to 1 hour 30 minutes. During this time, we have continually observed and adapted our on-line sessions to try to ensure that everyone feels engaged and comfortable to sing and learn at their own pace. Thanks to the attentive planning by our vocal coach, our members and guests receive personal direction to work on their singing while discovering the range of music that different cultures offer.
Most encouragingly we have been able to include friends from faraway places when normally, they wouldn’t have been able to join in in London – from Dublin to Sweden, Norway and the west coast of the USA.
While restrictions remain for group singing in larger numbers, the East West Gala Chorus will continue our efforts to support those who find moral support and solace through singing via Zoom.
A Note of Thanks
We would like to thank our Zoom singers for their kind voluntary contributions which have helped to support the running costs during lockdown.
EastWestGalaChorus.com (A not-for-profit organisation)
Founder: ANNIE W PANG
Vocal coach: MARK OLDFIELD vocalcraftwork.com