Generational gap closed at Newham choir’s Christmas show

Pupils joined Newham Super Choir in the Christmas performance Picture: Newham Super Choir

Pupils joined Newham Super Choir in the Christmas performance Picture: Newham Super Choir - Credit: Archant

Two generations of singers joined forces to bring the spirit of Christmas to St John’s Church.

A carol concert saw pupils from St Francis Catholic School team up with over-60s singers Newham Super Choir for the second time.

Professional soprano Sovra Newman, who has led Newham Super Choir since 2011, said the concert last week was an opportunity for people of all faiths to come together and appreciate the festive season.

“It was a lovely night in a lovely venue,” she said. “We did a mix of Christmas music and carols and secular music.

“We’re definitely a community choir as opposed to a religious choir and we kept it quite secular to keep it inclusive so that anyone of any faith could come along quite happily.”

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Sovra believes that opening up religious festivals to the community boosts cohesion in the borough – as does an old-fashioned sing-song.

“We had a sing-along that the audience could join in,” she said. “It was to the 12 Days of Christmas and the schoolchildren held up pictures for each day – that was funny.”

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She said this was the secular choir’s first performance at St John’s Church, and that the most moving moment of the evening was a tribute to Jesus Christ.

It took the form of a piece by the school’s Arts co-ordinator Paul Riley titled Sing Out For Joy Our Saviour Is Here.

Sovra said the piece, which found favour with the multi-faith audience, was “uplifting”.

And Paul returned the compliment, saying the choir are good role models for the children.

“It was brilliant working with them and for the children to work with them,” he said. “It was lovely for the two generations to work together.

“The mixing is fantastic for them because some of the children don’t see older people and these singers are positive role models for them.

“We’re very proud of the children and how it went.

“It was brilliant for the children to perform to such a big audience and to do it in such a beautiful building.”

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