I live in Barry, South Wales with my partner Jon and daughter Hannah. I’m very lucky to be close to Frankie Armstrong and I meet up regularly with her and Pauline Down to sing as the trio Bread and Roses.
I’m also part of the steering group for Sing for Water Cardiff – totally sprung from the amazing SFW London events and concept. Sue chivvies us on as our project manager – also Celia Webb and Pauline too.
I love writing songs and tunes and often create rounds – some people do the crossword, I do rounds!
Like many many people I’m devastated by the lack of action and positive example-setting the UK could be doing on Climate Change – so I am a member of Extinction Rebellion and have helped, alongside other singing leaders, to add singing to many demos. The singing appears to be hugely uniting – as though people are discovering the simple power and joy of singing in the street as the general public, not as a co-ordinated choir.
I have also used singing to bring people together – as many of us singing leaders do – and have seen amazing bonds and trust built by bringing my more mainstream choirs together regularly with the asylum seeker choir I facilitate in Cardiff.
Over the years I have worked in many contexts of the community, including homeless shelters, rehab centres, care homes, prison, refugee centres, schools, arts centres, etc. It is incredible how things come full circle when you meet someone who has for example been through rehab and is now in recovery and participating in a choir to help them in their wellbeing plan. As my choir members age, they sometimes develop physical and mental disabilities. The learning that happens as the community of the choir supports all this is really beautiful to see, and makes us all more resilient at welcoming people from diverse backgrounds and needs, which in turn makes us all more human.
I’m originally from Manchester, then studied a degree in music performance (flute/piano) and composition at RWCMD 1988.