Cleveland Watkiss MBE met up with members of Hull Freedom Chorus for the first time last week, to start working on a piece for July’s show at Hull Truck Theatre. Musical Director Em Whitfield Brooks sent us an update…
Well! What a fantastic evening we all had last night at our first workshop with the mighty Cleveland Watkiss. In just two hours we were introduced to a fearless approach to improvisation, as Cleveland led us into all sorts of riffs, harmonies and grooves, all flowing beautifully one into another. I loved the way he spoke of how we need to be to improvise: playful, joyful and full of ease – none of that “it’s really special and difficult” mantra which can put so many singers off singing freely in any genre.
We sang together, we sang in parts, we watched and listened as Cleveland sang new patterns and shapes – all over an extraordinary vocal range – and the evening culminated in solos from many of our singers, based around our own lyrics, so warmly – and often hilariously – supported by Cleveland.
Next week it’s on with my piece – but already we cant work to work with ‘The Captain of the Ship’ when he comes back for our second workshop.
Tickets for the show on 19 July are available from Hull Truck Theatre online, in person at the box office or by calling 014820 323638.