Jane Lewis


Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian


The Warblers singing for lung health groups; radical street song; wassails and nature songs

Additional information

Having grown up with classical music, playing both cello and piano, Jane discovered the worlds of radical and community singing in her 30s. She feels very lucky to be able to earn part of her income from community song leading and sees herself as working at the intersection between health and wellbeing (she is also a trained social worker), the arts and activism. Jane believes that song can effect meaningful change, both individually and politically and facilitating singing is an essential part of both her political activism and her community building work. She writes harmony songs and enjoys the process of bringing words and music together to craft a song and see what emerges.

She has over 25 years experience in leading community singing groups, initially with Protest in Harmony, Edinburgh’s radical street choir. She also leads Portobello Community Choir, and The Warblers singing groups for people with chronic lung conditions.

She is an experienced group facilitator and community worker and has worked within the disability movement for the last 30 years. ‘I am passionate about bringing diverse groups of people together, empowering people through singing, and connecting to both the big and small events in our everyday lives through song. My singing highlights include co-leading a choir of over 250 people from across Britain for the Guid Cause re-enactment of the women’s suffrage march in Edinburgh in 2009, leading singing of apple wassails at our local community orchard each January and facilitating song writing with The Warblers as part of an Edinburgh international Book Festival project in 2020.’

My choirs

Portobello Community Choir

We are an open community choir – everyone is welcome and all songs are taught by ear. We sing a wide variety of songs that help us joyfully connect with ourselves, each other and both the natural and social world around us. We organise a wassail each January at the Donkeyfield Community Orchard where we sing to the trees. We sing songs that bring us joy, celebrate life events, the natural world and the turning of the seasons. We have also sung at funerals and celebrations of choir members. We are aware of the deep inequalities in the world and of the climate challenges we face – we connect with these issues through song and aim to make a difference.

The choir often takes part in a few events or performances each year, chosen with choir members’ agreement. There is no pressure on individuals to take part in any event. Any money made from events is donated to a charity/charities chosen by choir members and used to subsidise places at choir for those on a low income.

Session times

Wednesday evenings in term time 7.30 - 9.30pm

Protest in Harmony

Protest in Harmony is an Edinburgh-based radical singing group. We meet one Sat­urday each month to learn songs of free­dom, struggle and environmental justice from around the world. We sing on demos and marches, at vigils, solidarity events, memorials and arts events to campaign for a better world for people and planet. All are welcome. No need to read music, no singing exper­­ience neces­sary — just come along with your enthu­si­asm and your voice! No book­ing is required — just turn up prompt on the day — and bring your friends.

Session times

One Saturday morning per month 10 - 1pm. All dates are on our website.

The Warblers

The Warblers run singing for lung health groups in East Lothian and Midlothian. Anyone with a lung condition or who experiences breathlessness including due to long covid is welcome to attend.

Session times

Musselburgh: Mondays 2.30 - 3.30
Newtongrange: Tuesdays 3.00 - 4.30

Contact details