Over 2,500 singers from our AC Academy projects will miss performing together at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 3 June but that’s not going to stop us singing! We’re creating our very own version of AC Academy Does the Royal Albert Hall – virtually – so we can all get together and sing our hearts out from our own living rooms.
Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of the extraordinary ability of music to benefit our mental and physical well-being. From reducing stress among employees and improving self-esteem in young people, adding to the quality of life for care home residents to reducing anxiety and depression amongst people with dementia, it’s official SINGING IS GOOD FOR YOU!
In response to Coronavirus restrictions, at the end of March Armonico Consort’s founder and Artistic Director, Christopher Monks, outlined how we were adapting our work and moving our tried-and-tested singing workshops into the virtual world to enable us to support schools, children at home, care homes and those caring for dementia sufferers.
The final part of their Kenya Diary from March sees Christopher Monks and Toby Young lead a workshop at a Maasai school, join the incredible Juakali Drummers, and visit a haven for girls caught up in drugs and prostitution. Along the way, they attempt to the learn the drums and are made honorary Maasai warriors
In the second of a three-part diary of their Choir Creation visit to Kenya, Christopher Monks and Toby Young experience two very contrasting situations – the first a centre for young boys rescued from the street, many of whom were orphans. The second, a school set in the middle of nowhere, almost tribal, and their first experience of the Kenyan Maasai heritage.
In Kenya, singing and culture is at the heart of the education system but there is little support and training. In an action-packed visit in March, Artistic Director, Christopher Monks, and Composer in Residence, Toby Young, piloted a choir creation programme, learned songs and music, became honorary Maasai warriors and made an emergency evacuation before coronavirus lockdown.
An update from our Artistic Director, Christopher Monks on short-term changes to re-focus Armonico Consort’s work to deliver some of our most valuable projects – our tried-and-tested singing workshops – in schools and care homes where they are most needed, and to create an emergency fund to support our freelance musicians.
Read our fascinating interview with our President Roger Medwell MBE, DL – a former engineer and captain of industry now helping to steer Armonico Consort in its concert and charitable missions.
We’re inviting talented teenage singers from the Warwick, Coventry and Solihull areas to audition to become AC Academy Scholars with free tuition and coaching from top professionals, high-level performance opportunities and mentoring for Oxbridge and university choral scholarships.
INTERVIEW: Royal wedding soprano Elin Manahan Thomas tells Christopher Morley about singing for billions and touring “my very favourite thing to sing”, Bach’s B minor mass, which she’ll do – with Armonico Consort – this spring.