Everything Must Change: Songs of Liberation and Transformation – live concert

Classics from Kurt Weill, Nina Simone, Sheryl Crow, in new settings by Harvey Brough

At St Luke’s, Holloway, on Sunday April 10th. Book your tickets here

The 20th century left a powerhouse of standards expressing anger and sadness about the injustice and bloodshed that is still with us today – but also hopes for a better future. 

Sheryl Crow wrote one of the great anthems for peace, “Redemption Day”, after visiting war-torn Bosnia in 1995, and it was picked up by Johnny Cash after the outbreak of the Iraq war eight years later. Nina Simone reframed Kurt Weill’s “Pirate Jenny” in the early 1960s as a cry for revenge in America’s Southern states. Any number of artists, from Ella Fitzgerald to the Supremes, have abandoned themselves to Rodgers’ and Hart’s wistful “Spring is Here”.

The musical conversation continues in the latest concert from the dynamic community choir, Vox Holloway. New choral versions, by musical maestro Harvey Brough, will be led by our stellar soloists Christina Gill and Clara Sanabras, with a band headed by pianist Liam Dunachie and bassist Oli Hayhurst.

Altogether now (in the words of the one and only Nina Simone): 

Everything must change,

Nothing stays the same.

Winter turns to spring.

Wounded heart will heal.

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The Sun Does Shine

Sunday 27th February was the first ever performance of the Sun Does Shine. We will be writing a proper review, but here is some immediate feedback from some of the audience and people involved.

Amazing to produce a work of art that can really change the was people think. Always feels like being part of a family ( in the best way) when I play with Vox

Dave le Page

Amazing performance…Highlight of the year so far.

Simon Leahy-Clark

a truly fantastic concert – it was so wonderful to be part of it! And my 3 friends who came were all bowled over…

Ros Brown

My first time singing with Vox, and what an experience it has been! I feel so privileged to have been warmly welcomed and to participate alongside other experienced an novice singers as something new was created together. There was something special about the venue? The proximity to the action enhanced the community spirit for audience and performers alike – an underlying theme of this piece. Looking forward to singing this remarkable piece again and re-telling the story.

Helen Roe

It was a perfect blast, every bit of it – before, during and after. The words, the music, the musicians, your beautiful and inspirational performances, your leadership and gentle steers, all the work behind the scenes for so long.

I could go on, but you probs have got what a WOW it felt like on Sunday evening. My husband … said it was the best ever and my daughter sobbed as she said good night. There is no more to add, bar thank you, thank you, thank you

Jo Tunnard
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The Sun Does Shine – a new oratorio

The Sun Does Shine

Vox Holloway presents a new oratorio based on the inspiring true story of Anthony Ray Hinton, an innocent man who spent 30 years on Death Row

Music by Harvey Brough, lyrics by Justin Butcher

Sunday 27 February at 7pm, St Luke’s Church, Holloway. Click here for tickets

At the age of 28, Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to death by an Alabama court. He spent the next three decades yards away from ‘Big Mama’ – the electric chair – fighting to prove his innocence, before finally being released in 2015. 

His remarkable story shows how love, compassion and a sense of humour can carry the human spirit through unimaginable hardship. He did not leave prison broken and embittered, but emerged with a capacity to forgive and to embrace life, and a determination to fight on for others betrayed by criminal justice system. 

It’s a story with urgent relevance to us in the UK today. It confronts racism and the inbuilt injustices that keep prisoners locked up for years, while making a powerful case for the possibility of redemption, and celebrating the power of courage and hope.

World class soloists Wills Morgan, Christina Gill, Michael Henry and Clara Sanabras join Vox Holloway, under the direction of Harvey Brough

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Tickets on Sale now for The Sun Does Shine!

Concert on Sunday 27th February, 7pm, St. Lukes’ Hillmarton Road

You can also make a donation towards our costs via JustGiving.

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The Sun Does Shine – Spring Term 2022

We are now rehearsing for our concert on 27th February

The Sun Does Shine, is a new musical work, created by Harvey Brough and Justin Butcher and inspired by Anthony Ray Hinton’s autobiography. At the age of 28, Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to death by a racist Alabama court. He spent the next 30 years on Death Row, fighting to prove his innocence, before finally being released in 2015. His remarkable story shows how the human spirit can rise above unimaginable hardship. He did not leave prison broken and embittered. Instead, his faith, compassion, sense of humour and love, gave him the capacity to forgive and to embrace life. His relationships saved him – his mother and best friend never doubted him, other prisoners became his friends (many of them were executed), and the prison guards grew to respect and believe him. His flights of imagination and love of reading kept him sane. He brought hope and humanity to a place of death and despair. His message has a universal relevance.

Ray Hinton now works with his lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, to help others on Death Row and to campaign against capital punishment in the States. He has given his blessing to this project.

But what relevance does Ray’s story have for us, here in the UK? Though set a world away, in Alabama, we think his story touches on wider concerns about criminal justice and offers an inspiring message of courage and hope to anyone involved in the prison system.  Working with our partners, the Prison Reform Trust, we have linked up with prisoners in the UK, who are serving long-term or life sentences, and we hope to weave their experiences into a documentary film that we are making to complement the oratorio. Eventually we hope to take the music and the film into prisons around the country.

The film itself will explore how a community choir like Vox embraces and internalises a story that is far removed from our own experiences. It will follow our creative journey as we learn to convey that story through music, with a power and integrity that makes for something beautiful and also challenging. It will show how, through art, a story of redemption can be celebrated in a way that is also disruptive, asking uncomfortable questions about our own assumptions/stereotypes and it will put a spotlight on how, as a society, we deal with crime and punishment, and those tagged as ‘criminals’, here in the UK. We don’t have to answer those questions – raising them is enough.

The Arts Council England are supporting this project. We are working closely with the Prison Reform Trust. We have raised additional funding, but we need to raise another £6,000 in order to complete the project. If you would like to sponsor TSDS, please get in touch or hit our JustGiving button below.

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