Manchester has a rich and varied history, particularly the last two hundred years, but also earlier back to Roman times. Many of the themes of this year’s Manchester Histories Festival – protest, democracy and freedom of speech – are embedded in the songs we sing in the choir. Indeed the inclusive, egalitarian and peaceful spirit of our choir was reflected in the choice of songs we sang including two new ones: Something inside so strong, People get ready (“Love is the key, it opens doors and borders”). The same spirit lives also in some old favourites: You’re the voice (“How long can we look at each other down the barrel of a gun?”), Come the time (“Come the time creed and colour know no name”), Saltwater, Woyaya and Sing John Ball.
We performed in the stunning venue of Manchester Central Library. We sang on the edge of the café which should not really work but it does and it did! We were right next to the stairs up to the higher floors and our voices apparently rose beautifully to the upper levels of the library! A new friend of mine was in the audience hearing us sing for the first time, and he was much impressed by the spirit of the choir and by the quality of our performance, both of which are a tribute to the great direction we receive from Liz Powers, who seems to know instinctively how to get the best out of us.
Blog by William West. Picture by James Nightingale. Special thanks to Charlie, Martin and Jamie from Manchester Histories Festival.