Norwich shoppers stopped in their tracks by special choir

17:52 06 May 2012

The Voice Project Choir in Elm Hill, Norwich rehearsing

The Voice Project Choir in Elm Hill, Norwich rehearsing ' Singing the City ' that will be performed on May 12th in and around Norwich's medieval spaces as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012. Photo: Steve Adams

City shoppers stopped in their tracks as singers filled one of Norwich’s most historic quarters with music ahead of a unique performance this weekend.

Singing the City will this Saturday see The Voice Project Choir sing from dawn until dusk as 100 of its members perform at three locations in a bid to celebrate the city with song.

The event will form part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which starts this Friday.

Ahead of their performances, members of the choir could be seen rehearsing outside St Andrew’s Hall and in Elm Hill on Saturday.

Sian Croose, who has led the project with Jonathan Baker, said: “All of it has been inspired by the streets and buildings of Norwich and the main thing about this performance is that instead of being a single concert, we are doing three different performances in three locations and that’s been really inspiring.

“We’ve taken the choir out of the rehearsal room onto the streets and that’s been really exciting – it takes the whole process to another level. I’m so excited about Saturday.”

The first performance will be at sunrise, at about 5am, at Norwich Cathedral. The jazz choir will then be at various locations in and around St Andrew’s Plain from 2pm and will round up the day at the cathedral cloisters from 10pm.

The music has been created specially for the occasion by Mr Baker, Orlando Gough, Jeremy Avis and Helen Chadwick. The choir will be singing a libretto by poets George Szirtes and Andrew McDonnell, describing worlds of shadow and light, telling stories of past and present. For the first time, the choir has worked with theatre director Geraldine Pilgrim.

All the performances, which vary in length from 35 minutes to an hour, are free to watch.

Composer Mr Baker said: “It’s about celebrating the city with song - Norwich has so much history and so many interesting, sometimes hidden, nooks and crannies that it feels right to celebrate them.”

For more information go to The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is from May 11 to 26. For event prices, dates and times, go to


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