Thursday 31st March at 8pm
St James’ Church, Islington
Finsbury Park Singers conducted by Hannah Brine
Camden Voices conducted by Ed Blunt
Alcyona Mick pianist
For the safety of all audience and choir members, you are encouraged to wear a face covering and please space out in the pews as much as possible. Please ensure your phone and any other electronic devices are switched to silent. Enjoy the concert!
This concert is given in support of Read Easy
Finsbury Park Singers
Ubi Caritas Hannah Brine
Locus Iste Anton Bruckner
Goodnight Sweetheart Calvin Carter and James “Pookie” Hudson
Toss a Coin to Your Witcher Sonya Belousova, Giona Ostelli & Jenny Klein
Performed by Alex Phennah
The Road Home Tune: “Prospect” from Southern Harmony 1835, adapted by Stephen Paulus, lyrics by Dennis Browne
Soloist: Fiona Chestnutt
And the Mother Did Weep Karl Jenkins
Circle of Life Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice
Baba Yetu Christopher Tin, arr. Andrew Russel
Freedom is a Voice Bobby McFerrin, arr. Ed Blunt
Blue Joni Mitchell, arr. Malene Rigtrup
If I Get To Heaven Ed Blunt
Esperanto Vince Mendoza, lyrics by Kurt Elling, arr. Ed Blunt
Morning Theft Jeff Buckley, arr. Ed Blunt
True Colours Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly, arr. Ed Blunt
Don’t Lose Sight Clyde Lawrence & Gracie Lawrence, arr. Ed Blunt
A few words about the charity we’re supporting Read Easy – Jeffery Nkrumah
Finsbury Park Singers and Camden Voices
You Can Close Your Eyes James Taylor arr. Ed Blunt
Finsbury Park Singers
Finsbury Park Singers is a mixed-voice community choir based in North London, founded in September 2018 . We have performed for Jeremy Corbyn at an open evening and at Fonthill Christmas Market. We kept busy during lockdown, singing via the wonders of Zoom, creating several virtual choir videos, and continuing our charity fund raising efforts.
In 2019 we were honoured to take part in the BBC Proms performance of In the Name of the Earth by John Luther Adams, and in 2020 we graced the Barbican stage, together with the LSO orchestra and a massed choir to perform Andre Thomas’ Symphonic Gospel Spirit. Our summer term starts on Tuesday 26th April and new members are
Camden Voices is a collective of talented musicians at the leading-edge of contemporary ensemble singing. Known for our vibrant rich blend and captivating performances, we have performed at renowned venues such as The Roundhouse, Union Chapel and Southbank Centre, alongside appearances on ITV and BBC Radio.
Spanning a huge breadth of repertoire, we showcase fresh arrangements from the worlds of a capella, jazz and pop written with the diverse and unique qualities of the group’s voices in mind. The 30 piece choir comprises passionate singers, instrumentalists and educators from across London unified by our shared love of music. Click here for details of upcoming performances.
Ed has worked with some of the world’s biggest artists, arranging for Niall Horan, Westlife, JP Cooper and Hurts, together with projects for major labels and publishers such as Universal, Island and Capitol Records.
An in-demand performer on the UK music scene, he has played at some of the UK’s leading venues – Wembley Arena, Ronnie Scott’s, Southbank Centre and Barbican – and internationally in New York and across Europe. alongside TV and radio work for BBC Radio, ITV and BBC One amongst others.
Ed has a particular passion for choral music and is the founder and artistic director of Camden Voices, which has earned a reputation, since its beginnings in 2013, as one of the UK’s most dynamic contemporary singing groups. He has also collaborated with many other choirs across the UK and internationally.
A graduate of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he is based in London but travels extensively. He released his debut album of original songs Over The Moon in 2022.
Originally from Leicester, Hannah founded Finsbury Park Singers, Kensington Singers, Victoria Park Singers and the ITV office choir. She coached the choir for, and sang with, Gary Barlow for his 2016 Royal Variety performance and his 2017 Olivier Awards, for which he was the opening act, and also performed with Gary on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Her session credits include Disney, Upstart Crow and various dance releases. She has taught at Mountview Theatre Academy of Performing Arts, as well as studying on the Estill Voice Model Certified Master Teacher programme with Anne Marie Speed. She has an LRSM distinction in choral conducting and in 2015 was named a BBC Unsung Hero for her work with choirs.
Hannah released her debut EP A Piece of My Heart in January 2022. Her work over lockdown has seen her tracks feature on new British radio soap opera Greenborne, starring John Altman (Eastenders’ Nasty Nick Cotton). She can also be found composing for choirs. Her Virtual choir piece Winter Lark, written during the 2020 pandemic, was premiered on Scala Radio, and Ray of Sunlight was performed earlier this week by the London Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery Youth Choir.
Alcyona Mick – pianist
Alcyona Mick is a British jazz pianist and composer. She has performed worldwide and worked with a wide array of artists in the UK and abroad, performing at major European, American and Canadian festivals, North Africa and the Middle East.
As a writer she has released several critically acclaimed albums and also trained as a film composer at the NFTS. She has written music for documentary, independent film, TV and silent film. She has also worked in Turkey performing for a music television series on TRT, and has won awards including best film soundtrack at the Anima Mundi International festival Brazil, the UK Promoter’s Choice jazz award, and a nomination for a Parliamentary Jazz award.
Read Easy UK is the only national charity which provides free, confidential one-to-one reading coaching for adults from trained volunteers.
“I didn’t think that I would ever be able to read a book… and that it would be as amazing as it is. It has really changed my life.” Reader, Read Easy Shropshire Hills
Think about how many times you’ve read something today. An email, social media, food packaging, or a bedtime story to your child. Most of us take our ability to read for granted, but over 2.4 million adults in England alone struggle with this most basic requirement for everyday life.
For adults who cannot read, the Coronavirus pandemic has left them feeling more isolated, and in need of our service, than ever before. Home-schooling children for several months was a big enough challenge for many parents with good literacy skills, but for those who cannot read their 7-year-old child’s story book, or understand communications from teachers, it proved impossible. Trying to keep on top of the ever-changing Government health guidance has also been beyond the capabilities of many.
We need to open new local Read Easy groups across the country so we can provide more free, confidential one-to-one reading coaching for adults.
A huge thanks to all the singers involved in tonight’s concert for their hard work. An especially big thank you goes to the team of volunteers from the choir who have helped make this event possible.
Thanks to the staff at St James’, Islington and to you, our lovely audience, for supporting us.