Solid Harmony is a young people’s vocal collective based at NewVIc and supported by a committee of dedicated associates and volunteers. It was set up in April 2002 and has gone from strength to strength, developing pathways for aspiring young leaders. The group has over 30 members aged 14 -18 from across the borough, with a strong senior and alumni membership taking part in NewVIc’s Nrich program. Solid Harmony rehearse every Monday from 5.15 – 6.45pm and offers a pathway beyond college life, where singers can join a show choir of young professionals that come together for special projects and events as the Solid Harmony Vocal Collective. The choir is renowned for singing a wide range of music, including Gospel, R n’ B and Rock, to Folk, World music and Classical. Members are encouraged to write and compose for the group, who are often joined by NewVIc musicians to form their very own band. For more information go to About Us.
Members of Solid Harmony took part in Peace In Every Voice at Southbank Centre on 18th July. They supported the event all day by chaperoning children and young people from across 16 East London Schools. They then added their voices on stage in the evening, singing a range music in many languages including Hindi, Indonesian, Twi, Arabic and Inuit, as well as English. Well done Solid Harmony!
It’s so great to see the legacy of this wonderful youth choir in action. Alumni Young Artists are now supporting NewYVC at Stratford Circus, running workshops in schools and beginning to gain enough confidence to organise and run local singing groups in the community. Two of our alumni members in particular are making great strides. Itoya Osagiede, now a professional actor and Mohan Dhar have been helping develop the bass section of Forest Voices choir We now have four basses, thanks them. Itoya also ran the trial project at Stratford Library assisted by Mohan Dhar and Abi Asante, funded through Newham’s Community Neighbourhood fund. The project was a huge success, with new members joining the fun every week as news spread about the best way to start your weekend! Congratulations to Itoya, Abi and Mohan. We look forward offering further training to these and other senior members of Solid Harmony, adding further strings to their bows!
The sun has finally begun to shine. Solid Harmony have been as busy as ever through the winter months. They performed at 2 Singing parties at Stratford Circus over Christmas and recently in March. They sang a range of repertoire, including a beautiful arrangement of Fields Of Gold, by Nick Bowers-Broadbent and and funky rendition of It’s Time, arranged by the choir, facilitated by Paul Watson. The Solid Harmony Collective Young Leaders supported younger singers in the New Young Voices Collective (NewYVC) now resident at Stratford Circus, and performed their own piece. Some of the Young Leaders are working along side teachers in primary and secondary school to inspire children to sing and share good practice.
This term we continue to work with a range of specialists and high level practitioners, the first of which is Dr. Doreen Rao visiting from Chicago, who will take the Young Leaders and Solid Harmony choir through their vocal paces. We will also be working with Paul Watson and some of our Alumni singers who are now working as Vocal Artists, including Bukky Abdul, Nathan Devonte and Stefan Vitalis. Finally, our Young Leaders have been successful in receiving funding from Newham Council’s Go For It Grant to continue with their professional development and support other young singers to find their voices.
Solid Harmony Collective, the senior and alumni singers from the choir, were honoured to be invited to perform across Newham during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. 14 young people aged 14 – 25 rehearsed out on Wanstead Flats to prepare a dynamic 40 minute a cappella set of popular and world songs to entertain people all across the borough, including shoppers at Beckton’s ASDA, Queen’s Market on Green Street, Stratford Shopping Centre and Stratford Station. Over 500 people per performance enjoyed the sounds of Solid Harmony Collective Voices. Thanks to Newham Council, we will always remember our important role in celebration the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Once again, we are very proud of our Jack Petchey achievement winners! Deja, Mica, Michael, Priscilla and Evelyn have all demonstrated qualities worthy of recognition this past 2 years; reliability and musical progress, support for others in there choir and, particularly Priscilla, leadership. We’d like to thank the Jack Petchey Foundation for a wonderful presentation evening at Queens Theatre. The award winners all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, along with hundreds of other winners from across East London.
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LEAD 2 SUCCEED – Young Leaders Programme Phase 2. This programme is funded by the Arts Council.
The Young Leaders and Artist Development Programme got off to a great start on the 1st October 2012. 10 of the 12 Young Leaders and 5 Artists gathered at NewVIc to exchange vocal warm up ideas and techniques, explore how they wish to work together on this programme and plan their own programme of workshops and performances. Since then, they have begun to meet on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings, learning from each other and beginning to create new music through combining skills and techniques.
Last week Ranjana Ghatak shared 10 raga scales with the group, who then chose their favourite to begin creating a new piece for performance. Marina-Lolita Hart took the group through a collaborative lyric writing process, enabling everyone to explore and discuss what the words HIV / AIDs means to them. The first seeds were sown for a new vocal work to be performed at Stratford Circus for World Aids day on the 1st December 2012.
The group will be meeting again on Monday 5th November 2012, working with Paul Watson, Linton Bennett and Jane Wheeler.