Songs of Change 2018

23–25 Mar 2018 / South Yorkshire


Date: 23–25 Mar 2018

Cost: £270 each for a shared room (twin or double) and £285 (single) non-residential £80 for the weekend or £40 per day. Can pay in two instalments.

Details: Residential

Location: Wortley Hall, near Sheffield



Run by: Jenny Goodman

Contact details: 07984 584923

Further information:

A weekend for any NVN practitioner interested in developing their skills, confidence and practice for singing for change. It’s also a great networking opportunity and already there have been spin offs from last year in terms of people writing songs and taking action. The weekend runs according to NVN principles. This year there will be fantastic, inspiring workshops plus song-swaps and Big Sings led by the back up team of Sarah Harman, Moira Hill and Rowena Whitehead – and plenty of opportunities for networking and making plots and plans!

Here are the details of the workshops:

Creating Political Songs with Lester Simpson

Join the master song-writer of Coope Boyes and Simpson for a thought-provoking, inspiring and very practical song-writing workshop. Here’s Lester’s summary of his workshop….

Political song? What is a political song? What is the future of political song?
After 25 years of writing political songs I’ve changed absolutely nothing!!
So with these points ringing in our ears we can proceed. I plan to take the subject matter from the group, whatever is currently topical and that they feel the need to comment on and then hopefully lead them through the many different ways of creating songs, working both as individuals, or as
groups. Lots of paper and pencils, and rubbers, will be needed!!

The Revolution Will Be Harmonised! Choral Activism with Kirsty Martin.

Kirsty wil be launching her new songbook ‘The Revolution will be harmonised’ at Songs of Change this year! Her workshop will feature a couple of songs from her new book, as well as a short group writing and discussion session to explore starting points for writing funky, accessible choral songs that support social change. Please bring a headline, clipping or soundbite that you think might work in a group composition entitled “I heard the news today oh boy!”

Kirsty has run Hullabaloo Community Quire in Brighton for 20 years, and is also involved with UpRoar People’s Choir, which is run by a bank of teachers and writers who work with a wide selection of the community most affected by adversity. She has also written for Brighton People’s Theatre, whose seminal show Tighten Your Belts was a huge success at Brighton Festival 2017.

Never Give Up: Classic Radical Songs with Penny Stone

This workshop will explore songs from the radical traditions that have informed our song repertoire. Penny will focus on songs that connect with our history whilst highlighting current social situations – whether tracing multiple versions of Bella Ciao through different movements, for example, or We Shall Overcome. She will also look at ‘general use’ songs of change that help to enable us to sing to a variety of needs at short notice, such as the South African ‘bambelela’ or the Irish melody/USA Union derived ‘step by step’. There will be some reflection on classic radical tunes that are easy to rewrite to current experience as well. There will be song learning/singing as well as the sharing of some historical contexts in this workshop.

Penny Stone co-leads Edinburgh’s Radical Choir ‘Protest In Harmony’, runs a monthly radical song space and leads a solidarity with Palestine choir, San Ghanny. She has edited two songbooks tracing the history of Political song in the UK, “Now More Than Ever”, collating anti-nuclear and peace songs from the last 50 years in Scotland and the UK, and “A Gude Cause” celebrating Women’s radical song in Scotland over the last century.

Singing on the Streets with Janet Russell

In this workshop Janet will give some examples of songs that have been written to well known tunes for some fun singing at general anti-austerity, and save our NHS demonstrations, and anti-fracking gatherings at the gates of Preston New Road and Kirby Misperton. We’ll then try writing things in smaller groups or individually to tunes that are suggested by the group, and sing them to one another!

As a young performer Janet wrote and performed political songs and in recent years has performed in the Anti-Capitalist Roadshow with Peggy Seeger and Frankie Armstrong, amongst others. Most recently Janet has been singing lots of anti-fracking songs with East Lancs Clarion Choir, who are part of the Campaign Choirs movement see Janet also conducted lots of singers in Manchester during the “Tories Out” march at the beginning of October, and led a flashmob in Harrogate town centre with Green Party members attending the autumn conference.

17 residential places available, unlimited non-residential spaces.

Contact Jenny Goodman on to book