some of what we got up to in 2014

AfroVibes

Afrovibes is a national festival of theatre, dance, music and culture from the new South Africa - 20 years on from the ending of apartheid.

We - along with other singers and choirs from Nottingham - joined the South African a capella group Soil for a two free performances in the centre of Nottingham on Sunday 26th October. The first surprised shoppers in the Victoria Centre, and the second was on the steps of the Council House.

Nottingham Week for Peace

We sang at the Nottingham Week for Peace - an exciting week of workshops, film screenings, discussions, music and dance in Nottingham

First at the evening concert for peace on Sunday 21st September along with Rosa's Lovely Daughters and Flamin' Nerve. And then we led some more singing for peace at the Peace Friendship Lunch on Sunday 28th September

Here is a short video of extracts of the concert

week for peace 2014
peace lunch 28,9,14
Pentrich 11,10,14_men(web)
Pentrich11,10,14_full (web)
Singing for Peace 5,4,14  Sherwood web(1)
Singing for Peace 5,4,14  red leicester web(27)

In the workshop we were joined by singers from the Sherwood Chorus, the Red Leicester Choir, the Sheffield Socialist Choir, the Nottingham Rainbow Choir and other independent singers, and together learned three new peace songs.
At the evening concert, the Sherwood Chorus, Red Leicester and Nottingham Clarion Choirs all performed a short set - and then we all joined together to sing our newly learned songs to a highly appreciative audience

singing for Oxfam

Oxfam 8,3,14  web

On Saturday 8th March we sang again at the annual Nottingham Oxfam bread and cheese fundraising event

Miners Strike 30th anniversary celebrations and commemorations

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In April, the Choir performed at two events to mark the 30 anniversary of the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85.

The first of these on Saturday 12th April at the Festival Hall in Kirkby in Ashfield was fantastically well attended – so much so that it was difficult for us to be heard at times! Our set included two songs directly related to the strike – “No Going Back”; and the song of the Women Against Pit Closures movement, “Women of the Working Class”. The latter was particularly well received, as was the now well-honed version of Chumbawamba’s not-so fond farewell to Margaret Hilda Roberts, “So Long”. This song was prefaced with some thoughts about the passing of the ex-PM conveyed in the medium of popular chant…Again, very well received.
Owen Jones continued chatting throughout our set, but we’ll forgive him that as his speech was great. All in all, a very enjoyable night. The supply of cheese and onion pasties proved more than adequate to cater for the non meat eaters – most of whom were from the Choir.

The second event was in the more serene surroundings of the Friends’ Meeting House on Friday 25th. Organised by the lovely Ross Bradshaw at Five Leaves bookshop, it included speeches by the author of a book on the strike just published by Five Leaves, Harry Paterson. Entitled Look Back in Anger, the book shifted several copies that night, including one to your correspondent. Harry’s speech was terrific, as was that of Seumas Milne, Guardian columnist and author of probably the most important book about the strike, The Enemy Within. Earlier, Bianca Todd, prominent union activist and granddaughter of the former TUC general secretary, Ron Todd gave a stirring speech, linking the dispute of 84-85 to today’s struggles.
We performed the same set as at Kirkby, and this time managed to be heard rather more successfully. That night’s star speaker Seumas Milne had found himself trapped behind us, so was obliged to listen to at least part one of our set…

Two great evenings then, and a great message of hope about solidarity – epitomised perhaps by one of the speakers at the second event. She was one of the Care UK workers in Unison, on strike against appalling cuts to pay and conditions in Doncaster. The fight for the NHS goes on, and with unity and solidarity it can be won!

miners 30th 2014_web
EnemyWithin-flyer-A4
Miners commemoration 25,4,14_web

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