Choir With No Name serves men and women across the UK who have experienced homelessness. The North London choir rehearse every Monday night without fail near Kings Cross and then sit down to eat a hearty meal together afterwards. The door is open to anyone on the fringes of our society and our members are some of the bravest people I have come to know. Everyone's story is unique, though struggles can encompass issues that include alcohol, drugs, mental health, doing time, and domestic abuse. These are experiences that I can't come close to understanding but what we can all relate to is a desire to want to make good music happen. Rehearsals are packed out every week with loyal folk who set the bar high and become stronger for being together. I think it's safe to say that CWNN provides many with a reason for being and a community in which its personalities can express themselves freely.
In my opinion music's magic lies in its power to bring people from all walks of life together. And whilst not everyone can play an instrument, we all have the ability to open our mouths and sing. Last year I volunteered my questionable skills as a pianist to the Choir With No Name; its community has become a core part of my life ever since.
Unfortunately our society can be too quick to talk about The Homeless as a single entity. One of CWNN's greatest successes is its effortless ability to unearth extraordinary characters. From bus drivers to actors, musicians, poets and businessmen and women; you'd struggle to be anything less than amazed by the talents that are on show. This is a stage that puts the spotlight on those who may have missed the opportunity to have ever stood in it before.
Over the past year we've performed at some extraordinary events; Westminster, the ExCel exhibition centre, Union Chapel, the Southbank Centre, St James' Piccadilly...the list goes on and there is seemingly no stage too large.
Talking of large stages, our choirs around the country (North and South London, Birmingham, and Liverpool) come together on 11th December at the Royal Festival Hall for an unmissable Christmas singalong. We're hoping to fill all 2,500 seats and make it a sell-out, so buy your tickets early and get behind this unique life changing organisation. £9 from every ticket sale goes straight back into the charity and helps pay for our rehearsal venues, dinners, future concerts and other life opportunities for our members to engage in. There's not much that tops the feeling of a Monday night, our gigs, or even just a chat around the dinner table. Because that's what music is all about.
To find out more about Choir With No Name, head to www.choirwithnoname.org
The organisation is always looking for new volunteers who can sing, cook, or just be good at having a chat.