Press release for immediate use, Friday 10 Feb 2023
Love Singing releases free resources for choir leaders alongside a national sector support plan consultation
Call out for Scotland-based choir and song leaders to feedback on a national sector support plan by 28th February.
The Love Singing steering group has launched a consultation to ask choir and song leaders at all levels of experience for feedback on its vision and framework for a national community singing sector support plan. The plan has been developed in response to feedback received at a national gathering in Sept 2022, a ‘songference’ called Comfort Of Voices, which the steering group are planning to hold as an annual event as part of the plan.
Comfort Of Voices was held in Glasgow and online, and brought community song leaders from across Scotland together to sing, learn from and connect with each other, after the enforced separation of the pandemic. A core part of the weekend was for the community song leader sector to evaluate how it can best support itself and what additional resources it needs to face a bright future.
Hundreds of Community Choirs across Scotland bring pleasure, joy, music education and vital social connection to thousands of people who may not otherwise have opportunities to take part in high quality musical activity on a regular basis. Their choir leaders bring expertise, energy, inclusive attitudes, and create safe spaces for people to learn, express themselves creatively, and celebrate each other’s differences.
A key finding from the Comfort Of Voices event was that the majority of community singing leaders work in isolation without colleagues or an active network to support them, and without access to affordable or relevant training. The support plan has investment in the current and emerging singing leader workforce at its heart, with core objectives being to better understand and find ways to support the needs of the individual singing leader, building a healthy and connected singing leader community. The support plan is sector-led, and its realisation is dependent on receiving funding to support its activities.
The steering group are now looking to the singing and choir leader community in Scotland to review and share feedback on these plans, which will inform where any gaps in provision might be and allow for any necessary changes prior to seeking funding. Visit the website to read the plans and send your feedback by 28th February.
Full vision and framework info: www.sing.lovemusic.org.uk/sector-support-plan
Free resources for choir and song leaders
Born out of the Comfort Of Voices 2022 event, Love Singing releases the Comfort Of Voices Songbook and library of video warm-ups for choir and song leaders to be used freely and shared widely. These resources form part of an ongoing practical response to the challenges of capacity and lack of opportunity to learn from other leaders’ work which are faced by song leaders.
The songbook contains 21 songs in four categories of canons and rounds, cyclical songs, songs not in English and longer form songs. It has been curated and edited by Love Singing steering group members Ali Burns, Katy Lavinia Cooper, and Stephen Deazley.
The warm-up library of 16 films covers physical activities, vocal cords and phonation, pitching and diction through brain wakeners and song based warm-ups. Thank you to the generous contributors who are song leading practitioners, songwriters or composers, all of whom have generously gifted their work, knowledge and skills.
Free resources for choir and song leaders: www.sing.lovemusic.org.uk/resources
About Comfort Of Voices
Comfort Of Voices was curated by a steering group of experienced singing leaders representing a broad range of genres, skills and experience in singing settings in Scotland. It was a peer-to-peer learning event, with 19 singing leaders contributing to the programme delivery, attended by 79 leaders both in person and online. It was produced as part of the Love Singing project by the charity Love Music and was funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
Love Singing steering group consists of some of Scotland’s most highly regarded singing and choir practitioners, including Ali Burns, Katy Lavinia Cooper, Stephen Deazley, Mary Ann Kennedy, Andrew McTaggart, and Penny Stone, supported by Making Music’s Scotland Manager and Deputy CEO Alison Reeves, and with guidance from evaluation consultant Cathy Phillips Brady.
About Love Music
Scottish inclusion and music education charity Love Music inspires and empowers people to be curious, creative and adventurous with music, regardless of their skill base or background, raising aspirations and changing lives. It creates innovative, no-barrier models of music engagement and new music through which young people and communities can come together with musicians in a professional setting and participate in inspirational music making. www.lovemusic.org.uk
Ruth Davie, Managing Director, Love Music