Here are links to the choirs involved in the project. They will all learn songs created in Zimbabwe and it is my intention to develop workshops and resources for schools and community choirs and to perform the songs whenever possible.
A community choir I run through my job at darts, Doncaster Community Arts, at The Point, 16 South Parade, Doncaster DN1 2DR. It’s been going for 16 years now and is still attracting new members who love to sing even if they were told as children to stand at the back and mime! We sing mainly acapella songs from around the world and from different traditions including pop and gospel.We meet on Wednesdays in term-time 18.45-20.45. In the past Simon worked with our choir and is fondly remembered for his energy and humour; we performed together in “Shake The Shackles” a piece commemorating the bi-centenary of the act to abolish slavery.
I am proud to be associated with this famous long-running campaigning choir which meets on Thursday evenings from 19.45-21.45 at St. Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane. I took over as Musical Director in September 2011, following on from two superb previous leaders, inspirational founder member Emer McKay and the amazing musician and composer Val Regan. Simon and his nephew Mandla Sibanda were also connected with this choir, leading them particularly in South African songs of struggle in the dark days of apartheid.
This choir was formed in September 2012 and it is an absolute pleasure and delight to be part of something in my local community. It was born out of the commitment, passion and love of singing of Judith Jones and Bruce and Pat Barnett, who contacted me after seeing a Natural Voice Practitioners Network email indicating where I lived – they had already run one-off singing days so had an impressively long mailing list, but longed to start a regular choir. Due to their hard work, our first session attracted 100 singers and we continue to have high weekly numbers on Tuesdays at St. Joseph’s Church 19.30-21.15. Despite never meeting Simon, the choir has been amazingly supportive to me since his passing.
Simon was the first leader and, with Philip Weiss of SEMEA, co-founder of this unique lively intercultural performing choir which meets on Mondays at the Sheffield Friends Meeting House from 19.15. Simon’s nephew Mandla took over the choir and led it for over twelve years until his tragic passing a few months before Simon’s. It is now led by Richard Mahachi from Umkhathi Theatre Works supported by Tonderai Phiri and Ethel Dhlamini. Simon maintained a great fondness for this choir and it was an honour to sing with them at the memorial concert for Simon and Mandla last year.