Fran is a choir leader and singer working in the South West. She loves all styles of music but particularly music of black origin including Soul, Gospel, African, Funk and Motown. She leads the Soul of the City Gospel Choir in Exeter, and Connecting Voices Community Choir in Dartington. As of May 2020 these have both successfully moved online to Zoom, and are embracing the limitations of online singing with grace but also creativity! Fran is finding that although it is not possible to sing online all at the same time with the time delay issues, there are definitely ways to engage a group in singing, and some benefits to be had. Singers have reported a sense of satisfaction at the challenge of learning to be more self reliant holding their parts on their own at home. There is also the big bonus that the choirs through meeting on Zoom are staying connected socially with one another during this time.
Before the lockdown began Fran was also running a choir for the men of Channings Wood prison, which is funded by National Lottery Awards for All. The project seeks to provide connection through music for men who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction by providing them with a healthy feel good activity through which they can form healthy relationships with themselves and others. Fran is currently exploring online options for this project, and will resume face to face teaching with the men as soon as it is safe to do so.
Fran is also organiser and teacher for big singing days in Totnes, alongside Helen Yeomans, Emily Roblyn and Rob Carney. They taught a Gospel event ‘Oh Happy Day’ in 2018, an African singing day ‘Sing Africa!’ in 2019.