York Early Music Foundation (National Centre for Early Music)

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York Early Music Foundation (National Centre for Early Music) say:

Cuppa and a Chorus

As well as being the national advocate for early music, the York Early Music Foundation runs the National Centre for Early Music in Walmgate. The NCEM has a year-round programme of concerts covering all musical genres and runs a creative learning programme that embraces people young to old, and in music making at all levels from advanced training to our own youth ensembles. One of our regular activities is Cuppa & a Chorus, a monthly gathering open to anyone, with or without musical experience, to sing music both familiar and unfamiliar.

Aimed at the 60+ age group, including those who are socially isolated, Cuppa gives participants an opportunity to sing and meet new people in the relaxed and welcoming environment of the NCEM. It is not necessary to read music nor to have any previous experience of singing as songs are taught aurally or from simple lyric sheets. An all-important part of the session is the break to enjoy a ‘cuppa’ and a cake and to chat with other participants.  This is particularly enjoyed by those who are socially isolated or who, for whatever reason, benefit from being in a supportive environment with like-minded people.

The regular leader is Chris Bartram, an experienced community musician and choral director who also works with vulnerable adults and those living with mental health conditions.  During his sabbatical in the summer term, Chris was replaced by Kate Pearson, another very experienced community musician.  Both were supported by a student musician, who is given the opportunity to develop their own skills in leading workshops with adults.

Our grant from the Purey Cust Trust was specifically to support the fees of the leader.  We are most grateful to the Trust for its support which has meant that Cuppa & a Chorus is led by community musicians of the highest calibre.

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