Norwich Singing Squad
NORCA’s vocal development work for young people continued through funding from the Big Lottery Young People’s Fund. In April 2007 we launched a full programme for the Norwich Singing Squad, a fantastic opportunity for young people (11 to 18 years) to get involved in singing in a group. The Squad combined vocal development with performance and composition, and was for anyone, regardless of level of experience.
In addition we worked to enable young people to take over the running of the group. Our provision included courses developing leadership skills, both as singing facilitators and as group leaders, and the group was supported by a worker from the Mancroft Advice Project. We also offered the chance to gain Arts Awards, and members of the group worked with web designer, Jamie Johnstone, on a website.
Singing material was varied, including pop, gospel, show tunes, folk and more. The group performed regularly at community events. What we offered was an opportunity for young people to learn to sing or develop their voices in a friendly and informal setting, as well as developing their confidence and other skills.
Over the two years of the programme a team of experienced singing tutors worked with the group – Jon Baker, Charlotte Arculus, Sian Croose, Peter Murdoch, Sally Campion-Jones and Marcus Patteson. In the second year of the project we decided to focus on just two tutors with Jon and Charlotte running the group. We were also fortunate to bring in inspiring tutors from outside of Norfolk, including Gitika Partington, Beccy Owen and Katherine Zesserson.
Following the end of the project the group ran independently of NORCA, with its own funding (Awards for All) until June 2010, including the very successful Singing Squad Goes Glee Easter programme.
"I enjoy singing Squad because it helps me develop my confidence and talent in singing. I love performing with my friends, and being able to sing with them. It also helps me meet new people and enables me to get along with them." -- Kim