World Mental Health Day

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Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day. It is the day to spread awareness and talk about it. Mental health and emotion well being is as important as good physical health. There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems, people feel uncomfortable and don’t talk about them much.

According to research singing in groups is very beneficial for your mental well being. Singing helps your confidence, value, and sense of belonging. It also builds strong bonds in the community. Choir singing can have substantial benefits in aiding the recovery of people with a history of serious mental health problems.

Working with different choirs every day I have noticed how much improvement singing together brings to me and the people around me. Spending just a few hours together and singing our hearts out I can see people's mood lift, forget their daily problems and just be free for a few moments during the day. There is no better feeling than to watch someone come stressed and leave dancing and smiling. Every week beautiful life long-lasting friendships and even families are built in our choir.

Soul Symphony choir is joining World Mental Health Day, we are trying to encourage everyone around us to be more open and share their problems. We joined thousands of schools, offices, companies and community groups wearing yellow and a green bow to raise vital funds for YoungMinds.

Come join us and see for yourself. Let's build a stronger and healthier community together

Choir Festival

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Come and enjoy Soul Symphony Choir’s third annual choir festival! It will be spectacular evening of inspirational music!

GET YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS http://bit.ly/2Rft86x
Ticket sales from this choir festival will go to the Croydon Youth Zone ‘Legacy’ that will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of young people. Join with us to support Legacy Youth Zone and demonstrate genuine commitment to the issues affecting our communities.

Soul Symphony Choir is an award-winning community choir from South Croydon led by Joanne Miller. Soul Symphony Choir are committed to encouraging unity, love, and respect among all people through the arts.

We are joined by amazing acts from all over London:

Achim Mime Group come from from Hyland House School they were featured in the Luv Gospel 2017 festival, North London, along with headliners Denise Wint and Israel Allen.

Croydon Church Choir, who recently restarted, have lots of love and joy to share with their community and beyond.

Harrow Community Gospel Choir is directed by CeCelia Wickham-Anderson a member of the internationally acclaimed acapella group Black Voices. They sing a mixture of contemporary gospel songs and spirituals.

The B.I.G choir were the finalists in BBC Songs of Praise. They have also performed in the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and have also internationally in Italy and Sweden.

Work In Progress quartet, members of Green Street Blues Ladies Acapella Chorus, were winners of Best Female Quartet at the Surrey Fringe Quartet Competition, March 2017 and stars of the Bromley Music Festival, Ladies Category, March 2019

Thank you in advance for your generosity to make this work possible, to make a lasting difference, and inspire 1000’s of young people.

Spring Concert 2019

From the bright orange and white outfits to the absolutely breath-taking singing, the whole performance exuded an unfettered exuberance in the theme of praise and moving forward despite life's challenges.

Reggae style Holy Is The Lord, Swahili Asante Sana and Latin Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us peace) opened our celebration concert. Our softly-sung harmonies on Say a little prayer backed the soloists Chardine and Lulu well. Even the more contemplative items such as 'Do it', 'From now on' and No longer a Slave by Deborah Akinlawson were sung in a gutsy manner, which only served to add to their poignancy. Gary and Giles accompanied each song with their pizzazz. Our music definitely came from the heart.


'Your choir was amazing. A lovely evening and some of those voices... WOW. An interesting mix of people with a tangible bond of friendship', audience member

'You were amazing last night. I was so moved by some of the songs. From Now On brought tears to my eyes' Val

'oooo... shivers - you lot sound awesome' Gemma

Poems from Margaret Richards, Stella Moynihan, and Leo Ugwu were inspirational and engaging. They encouraged us to carry on in the most adverse circumstances. The special atmosphere continued to prevail, as the audience were encouraged to join in with Ain't No Stopping Us Now. We finished with the beautiful and moving rendition of Total Praise.

Thanks again to our volunteers - Aiste, Ernest, Gaius, Gabriella-Rose, and Val, and our extended family and friends who continue to faithfully support us.
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Soul Symphony triumphs again!

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The Choir participated in Croydon Performing Arts Festival 2019 and won the Gospel category.

Jeffrey Davies, adjudicator for the Choral Section said, "Ladies and gentlemen in orange... what a wonderful concert this was, it really was! This was a really impressive example of gospel feel. It had that emotional impact the whole way through. Asante Sana - lovely African opening. Super communicative faces were as I expected and your movement was just enough to let the song do the work. Holy is the Lord - fantastic soloist, Theresa. The gospel feel was authentic throughout. Total praise - lovely start. Lovely, lovely crescendo to 'You are the source of my strength' - wonderful! The long amen was very artistically judged and spread out.

What I like about this choir is that usually gospel choirs think they are individuals and it's their individual message - you don't do that. You all are really aware of the other singers and you are aware of what is going on around you."

Spring performance at the Hub, Mind in Croydon

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Soul Symphony Choir has a beautiful tradition to visit people at the Hub, Mind in Croydon, nearly every term. The Hub supports people to understand and manage their mental and physical health issues. It also provides a safe place for people who are lonely and isolated to meet and socialize.

Soul Symphony Choir continue to share their joyous positive messages, encouraging everyone to keep holding to hope and have faith. It was the first concert for our newest member Lizzie and here is what she had to say:

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The performance at the Hub, Mind in Croydon was my first outing as part of the Soul Symphony Choir. I was slightly apprehensive going into it, but the rest of the choir made me feel so confident and supported me throughout. The audience were very receptive and welcoming both before and during our performance. I loved that the audience could join in and sing along as part of the choir; it makes for an interactive and fun time. It felt so rewarding to see a group of people light up the room and create such a happy atmosphere. I would love to continue doing more performances like this, for the community.

Being part of this choir has helped me gain confidence and I really feel like part of the group. I love everyone's positivity and how wonderful everyone's attitudes are. If you are having a challenging day or week, you always know that you have a rehearsal to look forward to with what feels like a second family. Each and every one of the members are so inspiring and I am so happy I decided to join.

Soul Symphony visited Elizabeth Court Care Home

This is one of Soul Symphony's regular gigs. The singing, poetry and our flutist Carolyn created a positive ethos which gave the residents a chance to join in.
Gigs like this bring joy to both residents and staff, as they catch and feel some of the joy we share when we sing" - Michael.

"The choir visit was lovely. Thank you so much. The customers really enjoyed it. You're welcome back anytime."Sue, Manager.
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Soul Symphony win at Beckenham Music Festival

On Saturday 24th November, Soul Symphony Choir, led by Joanne Miller, took part in the Beckenham Festival, competing against four other choirs from across Kent … and won the Festival Trophy.

Soul Symphony were entered into two separate classes within the festival, Gospel Choir and Open Community Choir and came first in both classes. In the Gospel Choir class they sang ‘Asante Sana Yesu’ a cappella and in Swahili and ‘Total Praise’ by Richard Smallwood. The festival adjudicator, Jane Wilkinson, commented that ‘Total Praise’ had “an atmospheric opening,” and the final crescendo of blended voices made the hairs rise on the backs of people’s necks. In the Community Choir class, the songs were ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay and ‘Let the Sunshine’ by Labyrinth, both arranged by Mark De-Lisser. The choir was accompanied by Giles Holland.

Jane Wilkinson also commented that Soul Symphony came across as a “truly inclusive choir.” She was impressed by “the expressive soloist and clear articulation of all participants.” She felt that the performances were “incredibly warm” and that the choir sang out with an “easy tone that is enjoyable to listen to,” along with “joy and commitment.”

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Soul Symphony visited Mind Hub in Croydon

The Hub at Fairfield is an extension to Mind in Croydon’s Social Networking Service which offers support to people to understand and manage their mental and physical health issues.

The Hub also provides a safe place for people who are lonely and isolated to meet and socialise with people and a place for them to receive practical help and advice. Read more about it here: http://www.mindincroydon.org.uk/the-hub.asp

The choir has sung at the Hub many times now (over the last 4 years) and we try to visit as often as possible. We always receive a warm welcome from staff and users of the service and it feels wonderful to be able to share music, fun and laughter with such a lovely crowd.

No matter how big or small the audience the passion is always the same in our performances. Each one feels just as important to us. We welcome every member of every audience we sing for a chance to feel good despite the many challenges and difficulties they may face. It's clear to see they all feel part of our choir family! They even requested to sing 'We are family' with us on this visit - a very special moment.

Songs on this visit included Asanta Sana (Thank you Jesus), Higher and Higher,  Fix you, You've got a Friend, Love in Any Language (well done Theresa!), Take me to the King (well done Chardine!) and Trust Me to name a few- so something for everyone. It was wonderful to see both familiar faces and new and we can't wait to go back soon and share the amazing uplifting power of song again. Thanks, Mind Hub for your love, enthusiasm and support! Your enthusiasm is a beautiful thing - keep singing with us and to us!