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Rose­hill The­atre, Whitehaven


Commissioning | Recruitment | Events & Performances

The Great Learning: a community singing day in Cumbria

Join us for a day of singing and musical exploration

Calling community singers ready to explore your voice, movement and reflections of the last couple of strange years. Experiment in a warm and open environment with making and breaking new rules of composition, creating together vivid vocal material, layering space with sound, loss with hope. 

On Saturday 21 January 2023, we'll be running a free day of improvised voice work for up to 30 people at our new home, Rosehill in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

In The Great Learning we will use community singing - weaving words and music with simple movement - to explore our experience of living through the Covid-19 pandemic, about how it made us feel, what questions it raised about how society functions, and what lessons it offers us for a better future.  Participation is open to performers of all levels of experience - you do not need experience of reading music.

Award-winning poet, performer and community artist Emma McGordon, choir leader and composer Dave Camlin and our Artistic Director Frederic Wake-Walker will lead the event, which will give participants the chance to explore this exciting way of creating performance together in an informal setting, before the project begins nationally in summer 2023.

Over 50 years ago, avant-garde English composer Cornelius Cardew created an experimental and politically-engaged choir composition called The Great Learning designed to be performed by people with no or little formal musical training. Cardew’s work uses texts by ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius as provocations for mindful living. This is not about reading sheet music, learning ready-written songs, or standing straight or singing out through a big smile – we’ll be exploring, improvising and playing together. This day is part of a nationwide participatory project in which we will create a completely new work inspired by Cardew and his original piece.

The plan for the day:

10:00-12.30 introductory session
12.30 lunch break
13.30-16.00 creative session
16.00 tea break
16.30-17.30 consolidation session
18.00 open sharing

The day is open to anyone over the age of 18. Tea, coffee & light refreshments are provided, but participants are asked to bring their own packed lunch.

We hope you can join us! Register here to take part for free.

Places are now full - if you would like to join us for this special event please join the waiting list using the above registration list and we will let you know if any spaces become available.

We aim to make our work accessible to anyone. Financial support is available for anyone on low income that might not otherwise be able to attend. To find out more about the support available, or to discuss any other access requirements ahead of signing up, please contact Marc on

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