Singing songs of freedom

An afternoon workshop
An afternoon workshop

On Sunday, January 18, Mayfield’s two choirs, the Mayfield Festival Choir and MayZing, were joined by singers from Uckfield, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Crowborough, as well as from the smaller villages surrounding Mayfield, for an afternoon workshop singing songs of freedom.

The event was organised by Mayfield Festival Choir and led by Cecelia Wickham Anderson, an experienced London-based vocal coach and singer who specialises in teaching the traditions associated with the songs of the slaves and their significance in the fight for freedom.

One of the forebears of Cecelia was a slave himself in the West Indies.

“Fantastic, fabulous, amazing and excellent” were some of the many delighted comments received from the 97 people who attended.

For many, the experience of choral singing with no music or accompaniment was a new one. Yet they quickly learned the four or six part harmonies and the final performances of each of the pieces were exhilarating and moving.

Jane Bolger, from Mayfield Festival Choir, said: “Singing together is such a joyful activity.

“We are fortunate that there are so many singing groups and choirs in our area.”