JUBILATION! All You Need Is Love

JUBILATION! Massed ChoirIn amongst heavyweights such as Bach and Bernstein, it was a humble song from our very own Beatles that raised the roof of the Royal Festival Hall at JUBILATION! on Monday 4th June. ‘All you need is love’ the audience and performers sang as one. It seems that love simply is all that one needs in order to attract 200 singers from around the British Isles and the founder of Choral Music Experience (CME), Dr Doreen Rao who jetted in from Chicago to guide the choirs and audience through a royal feast of musical offerings in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee and CME’s own 25th anniversary.

Jane Wheeler, Artistic Director of Living Song who produced JUBILATION!, describes how the partnerships and musical collaborations that gave life to this event grew from one simple concept: a shared love of singing and great music. “We have an overwhelming wealth of musical talent in East London and the UK, from every possible tradition. What better way to celebrate that richness than to join forces with Dr Rao who has made an unparalleled contribution to Choral Music through CME?” JUBILATION! not only showcased what can be achieved musically with choirs through CME’s choral teacher education and literature development, it also highlighted the legacy of Sing Up and its contribution in raising the profile of singing in the UK. Many of the children singing in JUBILATION! have benefitted from the Sing Up programme and there is a real opportunity here to create a 21st century aspirational pathway for these high-level choirs.

The team of Young Music Mentors (YMMs) who were backstage and onstage for the event, are living proof of the potential power of this model. Firstly they contributed to the New Young Voices Collective choir (NewYVC) who came together for this festival comprising of 55 young singers from Sarah Bonnell, Kingsford and Cumberland secondary schools and Park and Nelson Primary.

These young people found their passion for singing at Primary School through their music lessons and whole-school singing. Programmes such as Sing Up and the Newham Young People’s Chorus nurtured their talents. In turn their singing was further developed through CME’s Summer Schools, such as the one we have just hosted in Stratford. Most of the YMMs sing in Solid Harmony, the highly successful Youth Choir based at Newham VIth Form College (NewVIC) and many of them have gone on to study for careers in the music industry. There is no doubt that singing has shaped their lives. The scores of teachers, artists, musicians and families who volunteered their time on a bank holiday to support the young singers both in the audience and on stage clearly share this belief!’ Watch this space…

In celebration of 25 years of Choral Music Experience and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; Monday 4 June 2012 

JUBILATION! – CME Institute and festival celebrating the 25th anniversary of CME, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the weekend of 2-4 June 2012. The weekend will include a residency for teachers and choirs at Sarah Bonnell School led by Dr Doreen RaoMandy Miller and other members of the CME faculty. JUBILATION! will take place at the Royal Festival HallSouthbank Centre, at 5.30pm on Monday 4 June and includes the Dunfermline Junior Chorus from Scotland, Aspiro choir from Ireland, Dame Alice Owen’s School Senior Chamber Choir from North London, the NewYPC, Solid Harmony and City Academy choirs from East London, as well as a massed community ‘audience’ choir and many wonderful artists and musicians, including Randolph Matthews and Steve Lodder.

You can also read the news about JUBILATION! at www.musiceducationuk.com (opens new window).

Photo of the 'scratch' youth choir

Photo of the last of Living Song's Choral Teacher Training sessions in March 2012

The last of three Choral Music Experience-accredited Choral Teacher Training sessions took place at Sarah Bonnell School in the London Borough of Newham earlier this month. Hosted by Living Song and delivered by Mandy Miller, the sessions brought together 50 young people from Primary and Secondary schools across the borough to act as a model choir with whom teachers were able to practise their conducting. Eighteen teachers have received Choral Music Experience (CME) accreditation, and the choir will meet regularly to build its identity and repertoire, ready to participate in JUBILATION!