Whenever we ask readers what they love about the area, the most frequent response is its diversity. And a brand new “intercultural” choir is now hoping to recruit new members from different backgrounds who can unite “through their love of music”.
Called the Mixed Up Chorus, it was founded on the belief that “if we sing next to each other, we’ll live well next to each other”.Sounds intriguing. Choir conductor Jeremy Haneman, who is also director of the Royal Opera House’s Community Chorus, says: “The Mixed Up Chorus is open to people who believe that wherever you were born, whatever your beliefs, whether you’re a smoked salmon bagel or a chicken balti, the more we do together, the more we understand and benefit from being with each other.”
Part of a programme by 3FF (Three Faiths Forum) to connect people through the arts, the choir is non-auditioned and practises every week at Star House on the curve of Grafton Road, near photographer Rankin’s impressive Annroy studios and gallery.
The group’s repertoire is well and truly “mixed up”, consisting of music both old and new from many traditions and cultures.
“It’s wonderfully liberating both personally and culturally,” says new member Keith Gray. “If, for two hours each week you get a bunch of strangers together, from all walks of life, with very different beliefs, something amazing will inevitably take place.”
Guess there’s only one way to find out.