Helen Chadwick


UK wide


Workshops, concerts, song-theatre performances, songwriter, dreamed up Sing For Water, Illa Lucem...

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I started running my first choir in 1981 in Stroud; the next was a choir at the National Theatre for actors and NT staff members. I went to Georgia on 4 field trips in the 90s, thanks to a lucky friendship with several Georgian ethnomusicologists. I’ve also travelled with solo and group song theatre performances and my songwriting has been greatly influenced and inspired by hearing other polyphonic singing traditions as well as by classical music, folk and choral music.

I create simple chants, canons, rounds and bigger songs that take longer to learn but which are a lot of fun to achieve when we have longer. I have a passion for setting poetry, and often work with poets who are not of the mainstream, sometimes in translation from Arabic, Spanish, French, Russian, German, Farsi, Chinese, Japanese and Kurdish. Many of the poets have very powerful life stories to tell.

For my group’s song theatre work I interview people worldwide. For one show I interviewed war correspondents, and then I weave their stories and experiences into a song cycle which is then staged. The most recent show TRUTH included a song about the transgender experience, another about stealing polos, another about an attack on a person due to their gender, another with words by Gandhi and others on the powerful of speaking out.

Songs are at the heart of my life. I love to run singing groups and weekend workshops and to give people a joyful and powerful experience of being together inside the sounds and words themselves. I would love to come and work in any area and any country.  This year we are back to doing concerts which will be such a joy in June, July, September and beyond.

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