Plaistow school's Zoom choir hitting the right notes

A screenshot from a Lister Community School choir session on Zoom.

Lister Community School's Zoom choir singing Mamma Mia during a recent meeting. - Credit: Lister Community School

A weekly online singing group run by a school in Plaistow is striking a chord with the community.

Lister Community School, in St Mary's Road, hosts a Zoom choir session every Friday at 3.45pm for staff, students and families to help them overcome the isolation of lockdown.

Head of music Chris Morgan said: “We really wanted to do something positive for our students and local community throughout this time.

“We started the choir quite early in the first lockdown and we've just kept it going, even when we were back in school.

“We've had over 80 unique participants since we started, including friends, students and colleagues at other schools across Newham - and even teachers from a school in Portugal that we visited back in September 2019.

“It really is a highlight of the week for many of our staff and students, and a really special way of bringing people together in these challenging times.”

The community choir is part of an extended offer by the Lister music department paid for by enrichment funding from the council.

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This funding also enables specialist staff to work with five Newham primary schools to teach instrumental music to more than 900 pupils each week.

The department also receives support from the Music in Secondary Schools Trust, with another 600 students at Lister receiving weekly instrumental lessons thanks to this funding.

Lister’s weekly Zoom choir is run by music teacher Rosie Brown, who compiles a recording of the participants each week.

“It is great to have a record of the music we are singing together,” Ms Brown said.

“Everyone joins in with their microphone on mute - so it is a perfect start for people who have never been in a choir before and who may be nervous - and then participants can send in a recording of them singing so I can create the full 'choir' audio.” 

Follow @listermusicdept on Twitter or email music@lister.newham.sch.uk to join the choir or find out more about other community music activities.

Visit www.youtube.com/c/ListerCommunitySchoolMusic to view the Lister music department's YouTube channel, including videos of the choir.

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