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FREEDOM! – The Power of Song

A history of singing – its power to bring change, joy and share grief and to harness the power of the human spirit.

Singers/Seating at Winchester

It is vitally important that you check that your name is down to sing, you have attended enough rehearsals and are available for the two compulsory rehearsals on 13th October and 3rd November.  If you cannot now sing you must let Linda Morris know   In the next couple of weeks or as soon as we can we will be singing at all rehearsals in our performance places (those not singing in Winchester will add to ends of rows at these rehearsals)

Compulsory Rehearsal 13th October at Sarum Academy

Please bring ALL refreshments you require for the day.  We will ask the school for hot water to be made available on the day should you wish to make yourself a hot drink/soup but you will need to bring your own cups/mugs/flasks etc.  Bringing your own teas/coffees etc for the day will ensure that breaks can be kept timely – with c 140+ members and children during the afternoon, to be queuing to make tea and coffee would be too time consuming.  So please bring all you need.

The rehearsal will start at 10.00 am so we would like everyone in and seated by then please.  We will stop at 12.30 for lunch and will have a 1.5 hour lunch break to enable the children to have some practice with Alexander and Jeremy.  Choir members should be ready to go back for the afternoon rehearsal by 2.00pm and we will then rehearse with the children for the afternoon session.  This extra time at lunch may enable people to pop out and get a lunch somewhere close by should they wish to.

During this rehearsal we hope to take some promotional photographs with the children for use in the local press.

The rehearsal day should finish around 4.00pm.

The Concert arrangements

Plans are really progressing and we wanted to give you more of a ‘feel’ for the concert content so below is an outline ‘running order’ with brief notes – I have not included in this all the technical elements of the performance such as stage lighting etc. but suffice to say it will be good!!

Concert Information
Running Order

This work comprises of 11 pieces (Piece 11 is a reprise after the finale) –

  1. Oh Freedom
  2. Civil Rights medley
    1. We shall not be moved
    2. Ain’t gonna let nobody
    3. We shall overcome
  3. Everyone Sang / Abide with me
  4. Red is the colour
  5. Suffragette Song
  6. Twenty-First Century Woman
  7. How Can I Keep From Singing?
  8. Litany for Lithuania
  9. The Power of Song
  10. Freedom Finale
    1. I Woke up This Morning
    2. This Little Light of Mine
  11. This Little Light (Reprise)


Please note that pieces 1, 2 and 3 are all contained in the printed sheet music titled FREEDOM! Sing for a Change.  Piece 11 is included at the end of piece 10

You should therefore have 8 pieces of sheet music that make up the complete work.  PLEASE CHECK THAT YOU HAVE ALL THE PIECES AND LET SUSAN KNOW IF YOU ARE MISSING ANY

Below are demo versions of all the pieces and some of the individual voice parts.  As other voice parts become available they will be added to the list.

Demo Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
Oh, Freedom!  
Civil Rights Medley    
Everyone Sang
Red is the Colour
Suffragette Song
Twenty-First Century Woman
How Can I Keep From Singing?
Litany for Lithuania
The Power of Song
Freedom Finale / Reprise


Freedom! The Power of Song” was commissioned by the Salisbury Community Choir, from Alexander L’Estrange, in collaboration with his wife Joanna, a former Swingle Singer.

This powerful new work, which comprises both original music and poems inspired by episodes of recent history, and arrangements of classic songs, celebrates the unique role of communal singing throughout history in bringing people together in solidarity at times of upheaval and struggle, and changing lives for good.

The journey begins, chronologically, with Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights movement in the US (1954-1968), with the cry of “Oh Freedom!”, followed by a medley comprising songs such as We shall not be moved” and “We shall overcome”.

We move then to World War I (1914-1918), recalling the spontaneous singing of soldiers in the trenches with “Everyone Sang”, juxtaposed with “Abide with me”, followed by a beautiful original song “Red is the colour”.

The Movement for Equality for Women (1906 – the present day and on-going) focusses on the Suffragette Movement with a march and a song for “Twenty-first century woman”.

The non-violent Baltic Singing Revolution (1987-1991) incorporates original music “How can I keep from singing”, a “Litany” and “The Power of Song”, with national tunes from the region.

Scored for SATB chorus, massed unison children’s choir and a band, “Freedom! Sing for a change” promises to bring the whole community together in joyous and heartfelt celebration and singing.

What will the performance look like?

Each of the 10 movements will start with a short narration telling the story of the history of singing for Freedom accompanied by softly played or sung music – David will be essential here. During this children will move through the cathedral to join in the singing on the stage. Lighting in the cathedral will also reflect the story of the movement. It will be music theatre – full of light, movement and song ending with all the audience singing the final heartfelt chorus.

We want the children to reflect the music in their appearance (e.g. green and purple for the suffragette music). The first idea of coloured T shirts is out – the cathedral in November may be a little chilly! We will be looking to the choir for ideas and help (dyeing long sleeved T-shirts or making tabards?)

Alexander’s band, the ‘Call Me Al Quintet’ will be accompanying us

Who are the children choirs?

There will be between 150 to 200 children from Winchester. The Cathedral is putting together a children’s chorus, two primary schools are keen to be involved alongside others.  They will be between 9 and 12 years old – so voices wont have broken.


Registered Charity Number 1095033 Registered Charity Number 1095033.
© Salisbury Community Choir
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