Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

United voices

United voices: The New Tottenham Singers perform the Fauré Requiem at St Ignatius Church.

Hero for United voices
Rehearsal in the garden Credit: David Cottridge

The joy of singing together

By The New Tottenham Singers

Life will continue’ – this was the feeling of hope expressed by radical composer Charles Koechlin when hearing the Fauré Requiem. That’s very much how we felt, and why we wanted to share the Fauré Requiem with the community at this time.

The last year has been full of trials and tribulations, but the choir has worked throughout the pandemic to keep the spark of singing burning bright in north London. We were delighted to be able to share this socially distanced concert, live-streamed direct into everyone’s homes last month via YouTube; we also made it available on demand for a short while afterwards.

For only the second time this summer, we were all able to come together in the same room and perform together at St Ignatius Church. We spent the afternoon rehearsing − for the first time with our soloists − and sorting out the tech, and then sang live to the cameras in the evening. Father Andrew from St Ignatius and our musical director, Tom Fowkes, addressed the virtual crowd.

What happened leading up to the day was vital too. We had to make sure we could rehearse legally, however we could, including in school playgrounds and even in one chorister’s garden − this was made tricky by the regularly changing Covid-19 safety guidance.

Our performance of the Fauré Requiem was for the local community here in Tottenham and other parts of north London, as well as friends and family of the choir all over the country. We take a huge amount of pride in our community and being able to bring a varied musical repertoire to Tottenham and beyond, including dedicated fans from as far apart as Spain, Canada, Colombia and Australia.

After a year where singing together has been almost impossible and communities across the country have been deprived of the joy of live music, we felt it was particularly important to go ahead with a programme that allowed us to reflect on the past year and renew hope for the future.

The New Tottenham Singers have been dedicated to a mission of bringing high quality, affordable, music to the community for more than a decade now. We had hoped to celebrate our tenth anniversary with the community last summer, but had to cancel because of the pandemic. We’re really looking forward to celebrating with everyone next year instead, and we’d like to welcome more members of the community to join us.

Our recent concert has helped remind our members, and the local community of the joy of singing, and that − for all the travails of the past year − music is unparalleled in its ability to bring people together.

For more information on how you can join the New Tottenham Singers: Email [email protected]

The new term will start on Tuesday, 7th September at 7.30pm. Rehearsals take place every Tuesday, 7.30–9.30pm at Bruce Grove Primary School.