A spotlight on Singing Mamas Choir: Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and Rochester

In conversation with Rachel Ramsay, Singing Mamas Choir Leader and Founder of Flutterby Music

“We want you – even if you’ve been told in the past not to sing – we’ll have you and your voice just as you are”.

Everyone is welcome at Rachel’s choirs – they come together to sing; they have a good chat and then there’s plenty of tea and cake to go around!

Rachel’s groups are very relaxed: she is great at responding to whatever you and your little ones need at the time. She mixes up sessions with new songs that might tax your brain a little, but then throws in some old favourites that you can just sing along to without thinking. Rachel promises that you will leave uplifted and nourished.

She beautifully describes the ethos of the group as “every woman and every voice contributes to the song as a whole, we all depend on and support each other”. Rachel also offers bursary places are offered to those women in need.

Rachel says “running three Singing Mamas Choirs doesn’t feel like a job – it gets me through my week! A place where I’m not judged; I’m allowed to make mistakes and I feel at home”.

“I trained to be a Singing Mamas Choir Leader because I needed more harmony in my life!”

Of the network of 90+ Singing Mama Choir Leaders: “Belonging to a circle of women is such an amazing experience. I now have a whole new network of friends that I can rely on, and when we meet and sing in person it’s just fabulous. It was such a bonus to find this, in addition to the singing in harmony, as I hadn’t realised that I was missing out on this powerful support network”

Contact Rachel

FINISH LINE!

Press Release – 18th May 2020

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, 18th May – 24th May 2020, Singing Mamas Choir Network is giving the gift of a song with the release of Apart Together, written by Asha McCarthy. Apart Together is a song to help people feel more connected to each other during the lock down.

Asha McCarthy, Singing Mamas Choir Leader (Stroud) and mother of a toddler said “I felt very anxious at the beginning of the lock down; I worried about my family and friends a lot…I wrote Apart Together hoping people would feel comforted and less alone”.

Apart Together is a collaboration between choir leaders from the Singing Mamas Choir Network, the women are based all over England. The parts were recorded separately and then produced by Rachel Holmes (Oxfordshire) to create the finished piece. Rachel said “When people listen to the song, I wish for them to hear the courage and hope in our voices and use it as a source of strength to see them through what remains of these troubled times”.

Kate Valentine (East Sussex), Founder and Director of Singing Mamas Choir recently answered the call to return to Nursing on the frontline against Covid-19. Kate said “I have seen first-hand as a choir leader and now in hospitals how important connection, and song are to patients and their loved ones; singing is a medicine and I hope this song goes some way to making them feel better”.

Singing Mamas Choir also launched ‘Songline’, a response the announcement of the lock down eight weeks ago. Since then and three times a week, Singing Mamas Choir Leaders and special guests from the wider natural voice network, including Susie Ro Prater, have been sharing songs as part of our Songline sessions. Songline has brought thousands of people together to sing and feel part of a community. Asha McCarthy will be teaching Apart Together on Songline on Friday 22nd May at 10.30am – we’d love you to join us and it’s free.

Ends.

Notes to Editor:
• Main contact: Lindsey Joy – Communications Coordinator – lindsey@bodhimama.co.uk and 07817 305458

• Alternative contact: Kate Valentine – Founder & Director – mskatevalentine@gmail.com and 07765 238444

• Apart Together video is hosted here: https://youtu.be/ijZhXKF_hjM

• Singing Mamas Choir are a wide network of community based, face to face choirs bringing people together to connect and experience the freedom, energy and pure magic of harmony singing in our natural voice. Singing Mamas was established over 10 years ago by Kate Valentine as a way to get more women singing.

• Songline is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10.30am and is free. Sessions are led by a Singing Mamas Choir Leader or very special guests from the natural voice community. People can join in on Zoom: 999 101 2345 (pw:12345) or Facebook Watch Party.

• Find out more about Singing Mamas Choir: https://www.facebook.com/singingmamas/ and www.singingmamaschoir.com

• Apart Together vocalists: Rachel Hilton; Zoie Kennedy; Tanya Sapphira Forward; Emma-Louisa Mutter; Megan Fitter; Lynfa Sioufi; Kate Valentine; Asha McCarthy; Rachel Ramsay; Sayuri Christina Kamiya; Lucy Lapere; Helen Sundaram; Sophy Simpson; Eugeny Couture; Rebecca Blech; and Rachel Holmes (Picture below).

• More information about Asha McCarthy:

– Asha’s music page is https://m.facebook.com/ashacello/

– Asha’s ‘Hope Choir’ meets online on Tuesdays at 10.30am:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/stroudmamaschoir/

– And the original ‘Apart Together’ song can be found here:
https://youtu.be/qWRL_AZ6u0k

The making of Apart Together

In coversation with Asha McCarthy & Rachel Holmes, Singing Mamas Choir Leaders.

Why did you write Apart Together?
Asha: The song came to me at the beginning of the lock down, I remember that I was feeling anxious at the time. I was going to do an online choir session, but couldn’t think of what songs to sing for this unprecedented situation, so I wrote ‘Apart Together’ for us to sing to help us feel connected to each other even though we couldn’t be together in person for a while.

Where did the idea to record Apart Together come from and then release it?
Rachel: Asha posted a recording of her singing Apart Together on the Singing Mamas Choir Network Forum and I was immediately captivated by the message of the song; I came up with the idea of turning it into a Singing Mamas collaboration piece!

I wanted to create a shared experience where people could feel like they were singing together despite being apart. We are also letting our families; friend and choir members know that we are still here – we hold them in our minds every day.

What do you hope people will get from the song?
Rachel: When people listen to the song, I wish for them to hear the courage and hope in our voices and inspire them to use it as a source of strength to see them through what remains of these troubled times.

Asha: I hope that people can feel comforted by this song. And that they can feel soothed by all the harmonies, and feel less alone.

How did you make the video?
Rachel: I sent out the parts as backing tracks and then individuals worked on them at home before filming themselves and sending it back to me. I then had the painstaking task of lining up the various recordings so that the timing and mix of sound was in sync!

I became so absorbed in the editing and fine-tuning of the video; it gave me a real sense of purpose amidst the otherwise hopeless feeling to do with the lock down. I must have heard it a hundred times and it was always so poignant and uplifting; it became the lock down anthem in our house, and hopefully many other households following it’s release.

Who is singing on Apart Together?
Rachel: I put out the call to the Singing Mama Choir Leaders Network and got a fantastic response. We are used to supporting each other despite a lot of us having never met! Everyone involved was so committed and enjoyed the process thoroughly. Every women that sang was so vulnerable and every clip I received was a gift.

These are the wonderful women singing: Rachel Hilton; Zoie Kennedy; Tanya Sapphira Forward; Emma-Louisa Mutter; Megan Fitter; Lynfa Sioufi; Kate Valentine; Asha McCarthy; Rachel Ramsay; Sayuri Christina Kamiya; Lucy Lapere; Helen Sundaram; Sophy Simpson; Eugeny Couture; Rebecca Blech; and Rachel Holmes.

I’m thinking of the day in the near future when we will all be able to meet in person to sing Apart Together; it makes me emotional and hopeful at the same time.

 

A Spotlight on Singing Mamas Choir Brighton and Hove


A chat with Eugeny Couture, Singing Mamas Choir Leader

“I wanted to create the singing group I would have needed when I was a young mum myself”.

Eugeny welcomes all women and says that they can join at any time, no need to wait for a new term.

Eugeny says are so well bonded as a group that they never manage to leave on time after a session; the chat, sharing of news and tea drinking after the singing is just as important to them! What a lovely group of women by the sounds of it!

She believes the more people sing right now, the better: “Singing is very uplifting”.

Get in touch to find out more about Eugeny’s choir: Eugeny@singingmamaschoir.com

A Spotlight on Lewes Evening Choir, East Sussex

A chat with Nell Sundaram, Singing Mamas Choir Leader

“We meet in the evenings when the children are in bed, so it’s truly a time for yourself. Our sessions are a very relaxed; non-judgemental and for all ages everyone is welcome at my choir”.

Nell is a relatively new Singing Mama Choir Leader and remembers her first Choir session fondly – “we were singing together in simple harmony and at the end of the song, someone said ‘blimey!’; they were totally shocked by the beautiful sound we had just created. We all laughed and agreed”.

Nell’s evening choir had only been running for half a term when the lockdown happened because of the virus. Nell was not deterred though; encouraged by the desire of her women to carry on and by her own passion for singing, Nell is continuing to lead her choir online and is welcoming new members.

Nell is loving all of the songs she is learning and sharing with her online choir; she believes in the power of song to heal and uplift people in challenging times like these: “Singing is such a wonderful release for people”.

Find out more: helensundarammarketing@gmail.com

A Spotlight on Singing Mamas Choir Lingfield, Surrey

picture of group circle of mamas

A chat with Meg Fitter, Singing Mamas Choir Leader

“My choir is for all voices; all levels of confidence and all ages…we have great fun, laugh and are a welcoming, friendly and supportive bunch…join us!”

Meg describes her group as non-judgemental and all about encouragement: when she was leading a session recently, she forgot a part of the song – she started to panic but it didn’t matter, the women rallied round and said to her ‘close your eyes, take a breath and forget we’re here, we’ll wait for you’. And sure enough, it came back to Meg and they carried on with their session, singing their hearts out even more because it such a special moment.

Personally, Meg loves to sing, it illuminates her heart and soul and puts a big smile on her face – “There is nothing I love more than singing in harmony with other women”.

If that wasn’t enough of an invitation to get in touch and see about joining, I’m stumped!

Contact Meg at: Megan-fitter@hotmail.co.uk

A Spotlight on Singing Mamas Choir Oxfordshire

Leader of singing mamas choir in Cholsey

A chat with Rachel Holmes, Singing Mamas Choir Leader

“We are a very new choir, full of lovely people setting out together to find the beautiful sound we are capable of”.

You may recognise Rachel from when she led a session of Songline – she shared a really happy and lively song called ‘We Shall Go Singing’.

Rachel had only been leading her Cholsey choir for a few weeks when the lockdown happened but she fondly remembers her first session – “as each woman came through the door…it was so exciting and so tender to watch as they each bravely entered, and we started to become a choir”. Despite the lockdown, Rachel continues to stay in touch with her women and they share songs online.

Rachel loves to lead choirs – “the special space that a Singing Mamas Choir creates is something I didn’t know I needed until I had such a wonderful time on the Leader training weekend; since then I haven’t looked back!”

If you would like to know more about Rachel’s choir: rachelzoeholmes@outlook.com

A Spotlight on Singing Mamas Choir Wivelsfield

A chat with Lynfa Sioufa, Singing Mama Choir Leader

“We are a friendly; fun and welcoming group. We love meeting in the stunning village of Wivelsfield”

Lynfa trained to be Singing Mamas Choir Leader because she wanted to bring singing and connection into her local community and into her life.

Although you wouldn’t describe the purpose of a Singing Mamas Choirs as a performance choir, we often enjoy sharing our songs with friends, family and in the local community. Lynfa and her ladies did just that recently by visiting a local hospice and sharing some songs. Lynfa described it as a “special and memorable occasion for all involved”.

Get in touch with Lynfa to find out more about her choir: lynfa@singingmamaschoir.com

A Spotlight on Singing Mamas Choir Ashurst

Emma Partridge Singing mamas choir leader

A chat with Emma Partridge, Singing Mamas Choir Leader for Ashurst.

“We are a relaxed and friendly group, who love to sing together”

Emma is delighted to see her local Singing Mamas Choir community continue to grow – her women are making lasting connections and friendships week on week, and it really shows in the singing. They also enjoy chatting over tea and cake at the end of course!


Emma first joined her local Singing Mamas Choir when her first child was almost 1 year old and felt at immediately at home. But after 6 years of going along to her local group, she took the plunge and trained to be a Singing Mamas Choir Leader herself – “It felt like such a natural progression for me to become a leader and share the many songs I’ve learned”.


Emma and her members will welcome you with open arms if you’d like to join the choir. Get in touch with Emma and she’ll let you know more.

Contact: emma_partridge@hotmail.com