Heart & Soul Community Singers have been meeting for many years but found a new name during the pandemic.
We aim to be accessible to anyone who wants to sing with others; there is no music to read; all songs are taught by ear at a gentle pace and newer and less confident singers have the support of those more experienced. We sing a capella, in 3 and 4 part harmony. We sing for the joy of it.
“As a fairly new member of the singing group. I have found the singing a tremendous adventure, something I never thought was for me but the sheer enjoyment is deeply felt and liberating."
We sing simple but beautiful songs about the heart and soul of human experience; joy and sadness, hope and grief and everything in between.
We co-create community with each other through singing together and generally leave sessions feeling nourished, uplifted and connected.
"Ella's choice of songs always inspires me and makes me feel. I've learned that I can hold my own as a singer and I feel increasingly better in myself - including my mental health. Singing with Ella has given me new purpose, new friendships and so much to look forward to.”
We hold a mixture of indoor and outdoor sessions. We rarely perform but singing outside during the pandemic led us to realise how much passers by appreciate hearing the singing. We still enjoy heartening the community around us by sometimes singing in public spaces.
We recognise a connection between what we do and the oral community singing traditions from many cultures and places. We recognise the heritage from African and African American traditions and seek to acknowledge, respect and honour the gifts we receive from these sources.
We are always open to new members; no experience needed, there are no auditions and no expectation to sign up for any specified length of time.
"Singing with Ella has been an absolute delight, lifting my spirits, building my confidence in my singing voice, helped me feel more grounded and connected me with nature and others. Ella has created a wonderful, joyful, relaxed, safe space for singing both online and in person. I felt warmly welcomed into the group by both Ella and other singers.”
We run several sessions throughout the week, some themed. All members are welcome to attend as many or as few sessions as they can/wish to.
There are payment options for pay per session or a monthly subscription and we are happy to negotiate reductions for those on low incomes.
We are led by Ella Speirs, an experienced Natural Voice Practitioner and group facilitator, who is supported by many members who help in big and small ways to ensure things run smoothly.
If this appeals to you please get in touch. You are very welcome to come along anytime and try your first session for free.
“I can honestly say that singing with Ella has hugely enriched my life. Not just have my eyes (and ears!) been opened to a totally new and uplifting style of singing, but I have really enjoyed spending time with a group of truly lovely people.”
We are part of a national and worldwide network of oral community singing groups. Find out more at www.naturalvoice.net
To explore more about the roots of this work from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, this is a good starting point https://thebirdsings.com/justice-in-action-in-song/?mc_cid=8a3e26b3e0&mc_eid=69397050b6&fbclid=IwAR3G0EWUTaXBg1Dav7eA9TMFTsELuy9i1ALZuaR6wmKIuQVS0Se8bTLH_M0
"The only thing better than singing is more singing" - Ella Fitzgerald
"I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed." - Mary Oliver