This weekend saw the first in a series of workshops for members of Hull Freedom Chorus, leading up to a performance with Cleveland Watkiss at Hull Jazz Festival this July.
The project’s part of Hull City Council’s Singing City initiative, aimed at encouraging more people to sing and promoting opportunities for audiences to experience high quality choral music.
Clare Drury, Arts Development Officer for City of Hull Council, told us: “We had almost 100 participants from Hull Freedom Chorus, for the launch of our Jazz Festival project yesterday. A great day exploring the nature of Jazz and finding our Jazz Voices with Em Whitfield Brooks.”
We asked Musical Director Em how the workshop went, and to tell us a bit more about the plans for the project:
“What a great start! 102 people signed up to the first workshop – an open taster for the project that builds towards the Freedom Chorus singing alongside Cleveland Watkiss, and also performing a brand new piece, What If..? which all singers are involved in making.
I’m bringing some of my songs, and writing some new ones, and we’re exploring our ‘Jazz voices’ – whatever that means.
A few furrowed brows when I posed the question: What Is Jazz? But once we realised that, in this project at any rate, the exploration of that question is the journey itself – and we don’t need to hold to any one answer in particular – voices and ideas started to flow. Singers sang patterns, created riffs and explored the feel and difference of major and minor, and I taught a couple of sections from two existing songs.
Most exciting was the short layered pieces created by singers in small groups – some of which are likely to be incorporated into the final piece. Looking forward to this process with a great bunch of people…”
Judging by the smiles in the photos from Sunday’s workshop, and the feedback on Freedom Chorus’ Facebook page, we’re guessing everyone enjoyed themselves. And we can’t wait to hear what they come up with over the next 3 months.
Tickets for the final performance are on sale now from Hull Truck Theatre online or by calling the box office on 01482 323638.