Ali Orbaum


Bristol and South West England


Leader of community choirs, one-off singing workshops and singing holidays. Acapella arranger.

Additional information

Hi. I’ve been leading popular community choirs and singing workshops for more than 20 years in a range of settings including, schools, festivals, work places and at singing camps.

I currently lead Bristol’s large and lovely Gasworks Choir with Susannah Gooch, and am MD for Handfuls of Harmony, a South Bristol singing project which brings together primary school children to sing with their teachers and parents, and has its own adult choir.

I’ve run many “Sing Your Socks Off” singing holidays  with Dee Jarlett and other colleagues, and I also founded Sing for Water West with Chris Samuel. I teach at Unicorn Natural Voice Camp and the Whitsun Voice Camp.

I’m also a lead organiser of Bristol’s annual Community Choir Conventions which bring together choirs from around the South West to sing and share songs together in beautiful St George’s Bristol, which has one of the best acoustics in the country.

I believe singing in harmony is both great fun and fantastically therapeutic. My teaching style is encouraging, clear, humorous and dynamic. I usually teach by ear and have arranged lots of songs for my choirs, many of which I’ve shared with other choir leaders.

I love helping people discover that nothing really bad will happen if you lift up your voice and join in.  I love the feeling of connection singing with other people brings and I love bringing a range of songs to my choirs, from pop and folk to jazz, blues  and gospel.

My choirs

Gasworks Choir

Bristol’s legendary Gasworks Choir started in 1997 and has been going strong ever since. Currently led by Ali Orbaum and Susannah Gooch, we aim high but welcome all abilities. We sing a wide range of gorgeous material – pop, folk, soul, gospel, songs from around the world and the occasional classical piece. All songs are taught by ear and there’s no audition to join.

We meet fortnightly and learn our songs in smaller groups of approx. 40 singers. We also come together regularly as a 160 strong choir to enjoy singing as a whole choir and for performances. Our December concert is usually held at St George’s Bristol, a beautiful venue with one of the best acoustics in the country.

We are a friendly, lively and supportive choir which welcomes new members.

Session times

Mon eves 7.30 - 9pm (St Werburghs)
Tue eves 7.30 - 9pm (St Werburghs)
Tues afternoon 1 - 2.30pm (Bishopston)
Two terms each year: February to May and September to December.

Handfuls of Harmony

We are a friendly, inclusive, adult community choir that meet in BS3 Bristol.  No auditions, no prior experience, no ability to read music required. We sing in four part harmony, a cappella style and have fun singing different genres of songs in a relaxed and encouraging environment.​ We perform as an adult choir in spring and autumn concerts at St Paul’s Church, Southville, when we also enjoy coming together with our local primary school choirs.

New members are welcome to come and give us a try at the beginning of our terms. Please see our website for full details.

Handfuls of Harmony was set up by the South West Cooperative Learning Trust in 2013 as a way of giving primary school children more opportunities to sing, as well as the chance to perform alongside their teachers and parents at our concerts. The adult choir has grown alongside our work with the schools and is now a thriving community choir of approx. 40 singers.

Session times

Thursday evenings. Currently 7 - 8.15pm

Contact details