Newham choir Solid Harmony performs with a Dame

A group of singers from Newham went to Wales where they brought Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley alive at a performance with a soprano.

Solid Harmony, a group of 20 young people and adults from across the borough shared the stage with Dame Gwyneth Jones at St David’s Hall, in Cardiff on Saturday (June 18).

They have spent two months rehearsing for the performance which coincided with the BBC’s Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

The soprano was joined by vocal scientist Tom Harris, and together they taught the young choir the best techniques to look after their voices into old age.

Solid Harmony then celebrated the Wellcome Trust’s 75th anniversary with The Big Sing, an uplifting public vocal performance of well-known songs made famous by singers born 75 years ago, including Shirley Bassey, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly.

Solid Harmony is a young people’s choir directed by Jane Wheeler. It was set up in April 2002 and has gone from strength to strength. It has over 30 members aged 10 -25 from schools and colleges across the borough, with a strong senior membership taking part in NewVIc’s Activ8 program. Solid Harmony was set up initially with Neighbourhood Renewal Fund from Newham Council.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health. The Trust is the legacy of Sir Henry Wellcome, a pharmaceutical pioneer, progressive industrialist, philanthropist and voracious collector, who was fascinated by the arts, science and healing through the ages. By the time of his death, in 1936, his colossal collection of books and objects numbered over 1.5m items.

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It is celebrating its 75th anniversary.