Bringing in new (and returning) singers – Scratch Choir launch

Wednesday night, I was delighted to launch our brand-new Hand in Hand Festival Scratch Choir. Our welcome and first rehearsal took place at the rather wonderful Beacon Music Centre in the heart of the Southmead community. 

Having conceived of the scratch choir some time ago, secured National Lottery Community Fund support (with thanks), and collaborated with Bristol Beacon and St George’s Bristol for outreach into communities, we were chuffed when the bookings started flooding in.

We particularly wanted to reach out to people not involved in LGBTQ+ community singing, especially after the pandemic years and cost-of-living crisis and their negative impact on some of our community. We wanted to make sure that part of our festival offer was for people to test the water and sing in a time-limited choir, with a focus on performing at the Bristol Beacon. 

There are lots of people new to singing, some returning after a gap and others involved in local choirs. A third of our choir are self-learning from afar and we’ll welcome them to the scratch choir at the festival. 

On a personal note, it’s been a while since I’ve sung in a choir so it was truly wonderful to join the scratch choir last night. Facilitated by our brilliant MDs, Ronan de Burca and Francis Myerscough, the evening was just lovely and we were all pleased with how quickly we made beautiful sounds!  

I’m so pleased that another bit of our Hand in Hand Festival is coming together nicely – bring on the singing!

Mark Hubbard, Festival Director

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