After last year’s amazing project working with community choir groups and refugees, I was back on the Together Productions team for a second go. This time we wrote one new song – with 150 people! The resulting piece is called Sembo! and is a journey from isolation and fear, through to a united call for justice. I facilitated one big workshop using Open Space Technology, where we gathered themes, fragments of text & music and some key images. This was followed up by a smaller writing workshop where we focussed on the two main themes that had emerged and created more written material, which I took away and curated into the final libretto.
Bringing together the Mixed Up Chorus, Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, Freedom From Torture, Woven Gold, Stile Antico, students from Guildhall School and spoken word artist Zena Edwards, with Phelim McDermott as director and Mike Roberts as composer, we cooked up quite a storm. The gala performance took place on July 1 at Milton Court, in front of a few hundred enthusiastic folk, and raised money for Freedom From Torture and Woven Gold.