Simon Hughes MP with members of Bermondsey Voices

A Bermondsey community choir has received £15,000 in funding from the City of London Corporation to take part in the Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday 8 November.

Bermondsey Voices, who rehearse at St James’s Church on Thurland Road, will enter a ‘History of Bermondsey’ float in the show – focussing on the sights and songs of “Biscuit Town” down the years. On the day, members of the choir will dress up in period costume and sing their hearts out.

The choir will make parts of Bermondsey history come alive with songs composed by local musician Mike Mansbridge for The Lord Mayor’s Show.

Bermondsey Voices member Abenaa Baffoe said: “This choir is a team and there has been a marked increase in the self-esteem and confidence of our members since we started.  Singing makes us feel uplifted and positive, and as a group we want to take the next step and improve on these benefits. We have come a long way and though it will be a challenge performing at such a large event – it will be a huge step forward for us and it will help us attract more members.”

Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said: “I am delighted that one of our local community choirs, Bermondsey Voices, has been chosen to perform in the prestigious Lord Mayor’s Show this November. They will have the chance to tell the story of Bermondsey to a televised audience of millions across London and the UK. I will look forward to hearing some of the specially composed Bermondsey songs that the choir tell me are ready for the occasion!”

Lord Mayor’s Show Pageantmaster Dominic Reid, who has run Lord Mayor’s Show for 23 years, said: “I’m really pleased to have Bermondsey Voices in this year’s Show. They have some exciting ideas and I’m looking forward to seeing their float on the big day.”

Bermondsey Voices started in May 2012 to promote singing in the community. The choir meet on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9pm.

The majority of the choir members are British but it also has members from Sweden, Belgium, Australia and Ghana.  Since 2012 the choir has yearly Summer and Christmas concerts at St James Church, has just performed at the Bermondsey Street Festival for the third year in a row, has taken part in Festival of Neighbourhood at Southbank Centre, performed in the play The Events at Young Vic and are in the planning stages of hosting Bermondsey Choir Festival which will take place in 2015.

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