Wednesday 30 March 2022 at 8pm
St John of Jerusalem Church, Hackney
Victoria Park Singers conducted by Hannah Brine
Jonathan Williams pianist
For the safety of all audience and choir members, you are encouraged to wear a face covering and please space out in the pews as much as possible. Please ensure your phone and any other electronic devices are switched to silent. Enjoy the concert!
This concert is given in support of Hackney Playbus
Seal Lullaby Eric Whitacre
Lammaa Bada Traditional Muwashshah arr. Shireen Abu-Khader
The Road Home Tune: “Prospect” from Southern Harmony 1835, adapted by Stephen Paulus, lyrics by Dennis Browne
Soloist: Leo Wood
A Brief History of Snow Sherhiy Zhadan – Ukrainian Contemporary Poet
Translated by Amelia Glaser & Yuliya Ilchuk
Read by Virginia Orr
Lullabye Billy Joel arr. Bryan Welton
Baba Yetu Christopher Tin, arr. Andrew Russel
Somewhere Leonard Bernstein
Soloist: Michael Barker
Fields of Gold Sting
The Ground Ola Gjeilo
We welcome Tim Wooldridge to say a few words about the charity we’re supporting, Hackney Playbus
I Sing Because I’m Happy Charles Gabriel arr. Kenneth Paden, adapted by Rollo Dilworth. Words by Civilla D. Martin
Victoria Park Singers
Victoria Park Singers is a 100-strong community choir formed by Hannah Brine in 2013. We are proud to have a no audition policy, yet are not afraid to tackle ambitious new choral works as well as music from the pop, gospel, folk and jazz genres. We have performed across London, including at the Union Chapel, Southbank Centre, St John at Hackney, Rich Mix and the the Museum of Childhood and since forming we have raised around £20,000 for charity. Ladies from our choir were lucky enough to perform as the opening act for the 2017 Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall with Gary Barlow & the cast of his musical The Girls, having performed the previous November at the Royal Variety Show. Choir members have also recently been spotted performing in the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall this summer (Prom 66: In the Name of the Earth) and on BT Sport, being ‘conducted’ by football legend Gary Lineker. In 2020 we graced the Barbican stage, together with the LSO orchestra and a massed choir to perform Andre Thomas’ Symphonic Gospel Spirit. Our summer term starts on Wednesday 28th April and new members are welcome. The summer term sees us singing Fauré’s Requiem with Docklands Sinfonia.
Originally from Leicester, Hannah founded Finsbury Park Singers, Kensington Singers, Victoria Park Singers and the ITV office choir. She coached the choir for, and sang with, Gary Barlow for his 2016 Royal Variety performance and his 2017 Olivier Awards, for which he was the opening act, and also performed with Gary on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Her session credits include Disney, Upstart Crow and various dance releases. She has taught at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, as well as studying on the Estill Voice Model Certified Master Teacher programme with Anne Marie Speed. She has an LRSM distinction in choral conducting, and in 2015 was named a BBC Unsung Hero for her work with Victoria Park Singers.
Hannah released her debut EP A Piece of My Heart in January 2022. Her work over lockdown has seen her tracks feature on new British radio soap opera Greenborne, starring John Altman (Eastenders’ Nasty Nick Cotton). She can also be found composing for choirs. Her Virtual choir piece Winter Lark, written during the 2020 pandemic, was premiered on Scala Radio, and Ray of Sunlight was performed earlier this week by the London Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery Youth Choir..
Jonathan Williams – pianist
Jonathan Williams read music at the University of Cambridge, receiving a BA (Hons) and MPhil, before going to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then, he has worked as an actor, singer and musical director for numerous productions in the West End, the UK and Europe. He has been a musical director for the Royal Shakespeare Company and worked on its recent productions of The Shoemaker’s Holiday, Oppenheimer, Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote and The Alchemist. Jonathan also works regularly for the education departments of the Royal Opera, Wigmore Hall and English National Opera, providing workshops for children, students and families.
Hackney Playbus is a local charity working with children under five and their parents and carers. The charity takes a play and learning service out into the community using a beautifully converted double decker ‘Playbus’, a variety of ‘pop up’ play events and facilitated ‘bonding with baby’ groups.
Hackney Playbus was founded in 1972 and is celebrating 50 years of successful work reaching out to welcome families who are isolated from mainstream services and faced with bringing up children in the most challenging of circumstances.
A huge thanks to all the singers involved in tonight’s concert for their hard work. An especially big thank you goes to the team of volunteers from the choir who have helped make this event possible.
Thanks to the staff at St John of Jerusalem Church and our rehearsal venue, Lauriston School, and to you, our lovely audience, for supporting us.