Participants at The Great Learning Community Singing Day in Cumbria
On Saturday 21st January 2023 we welcomed participants from across Cumbria to a special Community Singing Day as part of The Great Learning project...take a look at what we got up to!
At our official home, Rosehill Theatre, we hosted a Community Singing Day, welcoming singers with a range of experiences to join us for a a day of singing and creativity - a taster session for our wider The Great Learning commissioning project, due to be rolled out later in the year.
Working with our own Artistic Director Freddie Wake-Walker, local music leader & composer Dave Camlin, and writer & facilitator Emma McGordon, participants explored their experiences of living through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Together, we created text & musical ideas based on these experiences, built around three common themes - Food, Soundscapes, Dreams and Places of Sanctuary.
Inspired by British composer Cornelius Cardew's most important work, The Great Learning - a series of seven "paragraphs" with text from the writings of Confucius and scored for generally large numbers of both trained and untrained performers - we generated a set of 'rules' that would give the material we created structure for an improved performance.
The day gave participants a chance to experience what The Great Learning project will be like before signing up for the project proper, which will return to Whitehaven (as well as Edinburgh and North Tyneside) in May, with public performances of a newly created piece to be shared in July.
I loved being surrounded by so many creative and open minded people, all willing to expose their emotions and vulnerabilities, made possible I’m sure because it felt like a very safe space.
I felt that together we had achieved something I would never have imagined possible — the idea of actually creating the outlines of a performance in just one day, with a group of people who didn’t know each other previously is incredible. I had such a great feeling of achievement. And it was huge fun along the way too.
I was quite astounded by how many ideas we had explored and how much content we had created.
It was a privilege to be lead by such a high calibre team. We often think the North West gets forgotten in terms of quality of opportunity compared to the south. We were certainly working with the A‑listers.