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Newham residents to form new community choir

Oct 26 2016

Newham residents with singing ambitions attended FREE singing taster sessions on Saturday (October 22) with Recording Artist, Byron Gold, and members of the Stratford East Singers (from BBC 2’s The Naked Choir). 

Held at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the fun taster sessions were intended to find enthusiastic local residents to join a new community choir. 

The residents selected for the community choir will meet for six rehearsals from November to January, culminating with a final performance as part of the Stratford East Singers’ annual concert at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, on Sunday January 15, 2017.

The project is the result of a partnership between local housing associations in the area—East Thames, L&Q and Genesis—who between them manage more than 10,000 homes in Newham.

Formed in 2011, the Stratford East Singers are a singing group based at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Last September they were one of eight a cappella choirs in BBC 2’s series The Naked Choir, presented by choirmaster Gareth Malone. They made it to the final, coming third overall.

The choir’s leader, Singer, Byron Gold, has toured with BRIT award winner Lemar and was himself a finalist in Channel 4’s singing competition, ‘Hugo Urban Rules’.

More recently Byron Gold released the song 'I Am' featuring SES Acapella (a smaller group of vocalist taken for the Stratford East Singers), which saw over 500 children across 16 different Newham schools come together to sing the song as part of Youth music project. 'I Am' is available to download on iTunes now.

Residents selected to be part of the Community Choir will need to be free 6-8pm on Tuesdays from November 22 till December 20 when the project will break for Christmas. There after there will be one final session on Tuesday January 3 before the final performance on Sunday January 15.

Byron Gold, Singer and leader of the Stratford East Singers, said: 

“The singing sessions were really relaxed and lots of fun and we worked with everyone to help develop their singing style and voice. I am looking forward to welcoming them back for many more enthusiastic and passionate sessions together over the next few months as we build up towards the final performance in the new year.”

Deborah Lamb, East Thames Group’s Resident Involvement Manager, said: 

“We have identified some very talented singers from the local community and will be really excited to see the end result of their work with Byron and the Stratford East Singers. I would also like to express my gratitude to our partners at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Genesis and L&Q, with whom we have a shared ambition, to foster thriving and vibrant communities.”

Lauren Picton, Volunteer Programme Manager at Genesis, said: 

“We are creating an exciting and diverse community choir of residents from all backgrounds. We hope to bring residents from all walks of life together to enhance community cohesion, reduce social isolation and increase participation in the arts. This is a brilliant opportunity to perform on stage to a live audience and I am really looking forward to watching the end performance at the Theatre Royal Stratford East."

A final singing taster session is being planned on a date soon to be confirmed. To find out more and to book your place (under 16s need adult accompaniment) please contact:
East Thames Group: // 0208 536 8806
Genesis Housing Association: 

To learn more visit: