Based in South Wales.
Based in South Wales.
Community choirs, composition and cross arts for health, songwriting in groups, recordings, videos.
Laura trained as a composer and flautist at RWCMD in 1991. Having an interest in people and less formal music making, she then studied with CMW (Community Music Wales) with Sarah Harmon and Frankie Armstrong among others to become a community musician and has never looked back since. She’s now been working in community arts for 30 years.
Laura is the Musical Director of several community choirs including the groundbreaking project Oasis One World Choir – working with people who have been displaced from their home countries, using music as a vehicle for empowerment, welcome, relaxation, fun, health and wellbeing, breaking down barriers/ anti-racism, and helping to enhance local communities regarding humanity, and community connections.
She is also choir director for health and wellbeing choirs : Newport Mind Choir, Take A Breath Choir based at Newport Riverfront Centre, and ‘Indie’ choirs:- Cardiff Canton Singers, Chapter Singers and Porthkerry Community Choir.
Laura composes songs, folk tunes and pieces of music for various instruments and ensembles and in 2020 gathered together some of her ’rounds and riffs’ into a book of 40 “All Year Rounds” to make available for the general public. It’s an independent and sustainably and beautifully printed book.
Laura has a YouTube channel which houses basic videos of rounds, some workshops, group collaborations and choir performances, as well as songs created. She also facilitates the YouTube account of Oasis One World Choir which showcases the work of the whole choir as well as individuals. Laura is the Musical Director of the choir which involves creating tracks, scores and guide tracks, and facilitating choir members’ ideas into complete songs, as well as preparing workshop content and performances.
Creativity in all its forms is incredibly powerful on our journeys to full mental and physical health.
SingUp Day 2023
Laura was commissioned to write a song for Sing Up Day alongside linguist and translator Joseff Gnagbo. The resulting song “Dreams Across the Ocean” is now being learned in thousands of schools across the world as an act of unity. Due to Joseff’s input, the indigenous language of Wales – Welsh – is now being sung in various parts of the world (also Swahili and French as well as English) . The other song was created by New Zealander Tomuri Spicer and his song includes his indigenous language of Mauri.
May 2023 has been a busy time seeing the OOWC project featured in the TV programme “Sing for the King”. The choir were challenged to sing the beloved Welsh song Calon Lán mid-time in the 6 Nations Rugby.
Below are a few songs I’ve created both myself or with groups I work with, and even further down are a small selection of photos of myself in action with a variety of my groups. :
Many songwriters are driven to create songs about the climate crisis (I think it helps us to keep our sanity!) – this is one that I have performed with the trio Bread and Roses, but it’s just myself and daughter Hannah on this version.
Free Your Mind is an ‘affirmation’ style song I created to help people (myself included) to escape everyday worries. Sometimes if we remind ourselves often enough, we can make our words come true. (Also a video on YouTube).
Let The River Run Free – words by choir member Kate Duhig, and created as a response to the concept of Fracking in Wales and the UK. Sung here by Betws Community Choir. Welsh language section by Neil. Since this performance, myself and Kate have created 3 verses to the song.
Porthkerry Community Choir song created during lockdown – I asked all singers to bring in a headline from a newspaper or magazine, and somehow this song was created.. Look out for the “Glorious and Griddled Greens” . We’ve performed this a few times live since thankfully. This choir are situated on the South Wales coast with much appreciated access to around 5 beaches!
Newport Mind Choir are very prolific in their writing. This is another song we created together when lockdown was almost over. You can sense the slight but hesitant joy in the words. Lockdown Is Done!
Below is the soundtrack I created for Creative Cwtch – and NHS Social Care setting commission. There’s a video on my YouTube site showing all the lovely singers who helped with the project. (2 more videos including a “Sing A Mole” game!)
Below is a duo performed with my sister Ruth (also an NVN member) and cellist Jimmy Ottley. The song, “We Are Here Now” is an acapella 4-part song I composed based on the meaning of the names of people I met in a ‘refugee’ centre many years ago.
This choir has been running since 2005. A relaxed session filled with harmony. We have a nice balance of voices.
Thursdays 7 - 9pm
The choir is fairly closely related to the Cardiff Canton Singers and has been running since 2005. We currently have a short waiting list but would welcome more singers to join our bass section.
Newport Mind Choir has been running for many years as a relatively small but very creative and welcoming group of people. We often have many more men than women with us.
The choir members have written many songs together and some have even created their own complete songs.
The choir is all about wellbeing and we are a very accepting bunch of people – with no judgement.
Wednesdays 10am - 12pm
This is a community arts/ wellbeing and participatory project, with the aim to welcome people who have been displaced from their home countries.
We have fun singing and creating our own joint songs as well as listening to each other. We also have a dance element with our movement facilitators June Campbell Davies and Mujib Yahaya. Our Project manager is Tracy Pallant, and Laura is the MD.
We have performed and held workshops at a wonderful array of venues and settings in South Wales – including at Wales International Eisteddfod with Catrin Finch, Green Spaces Dark Skies, Butetown Carnival, WMC, Sherman Theatre, Wales International Museum, St Fagans the Welsh Folk Museum, etc.
We became an independent CIC in 2020.
We meet on Mondays at the Oasis Centre. Please contact me before joining as it’s not an open access choir, although we want to encourage those who have been or are going through the UK asylum process to join us.
Mondays 11.30am - 12.30pm women's group; 1-2.30pm mixed group
The choir has been running for approximately 12 years. Currently women’s voices but hope to encourage men with an occasional ‘add on’ choir.
Fridays 1.30 - 3pm
Laura trained with Phoene Cave as a British Lung Foundation singing leader several years ago and has recently inherited a group from her sister Ruth.
Times to be confirmed but it is hoped to be either a Tuesday or Thursday daytime.
Please email Laura on Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in finding out more.
To be confirmed
Singing for wellbeing on Wednesdays.
Session 1 – from 1.00 – 1.55pm for anyone who is interested in singing for wellbeing, whilst also learning new songs and harmonies.
Session 2 – from 2.10 – 3.00pm for the general public, including those from a care setting – as long as they are supported throughout by carers.
Wednesdays between 1 and 3pm