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Stardust: The Voices for Life Oratorio Singing and Wellbeing Project

  A post lockdown mental health and wellbeing project

 We want to improve the self-esteem and confidence levels of children with a focus on the impact coronavirus and lockdown has had on them. 

 Voices for Life is helping the mental health and wellbeing of primary school children post lockdown by providing them with the opportunity of singing in a choir and learning and performing a newly commissioned oratorio, Stardust.  The theme of the oratorio is space, based on visiting different feeling planets.  It is written by librettist, Sue Curtis, and composer, Jools Scott.

The project is delivered in primary schools through a series of coaching workshops and choir rehearsals.  The children rehearse and perform the work alongside integrated oratorio themed coaching workshops to provide the children with the support and resources to help them build self-esteem, emotional wellbeing, and confidence as they work together to create, rehearse, and perform an exciting piece of words and music.  At the end of the project, all the children will have fun taking part in a performance of the oratorio accompanied by professional orchestra; an exciting opportunity for participating children to experience the joys of live performance at its best. This helps to give the children a renewed sense of confidence in themselves as well as giving them an experience that will live with them forever.

The first project is currently taking place with children from a selection of primary schools in the Bath and Wiltshire area with Tessa Armstrong and Shean Bowers. There will be two exciting performances of the Oratorio in Bath Abbey on 14th and 15th October 2021 performed by a choir of 250 children and directed by Shean Bowers. The choir will be accompanied by Bristol Ensemble and the Oratorio narrated by established actor, writer and presenter, Jon Monie. 

We hope to expand the project across the country to reach out to and help many children in the UK. 

To find out more please email Tessa Armstrong at tessa@voicesforlife.org.uk or Shean Bowers at shean@voicesforlife.org.uk.

Parent

What Shean understands is that young children can be good musicians. He is inspirational…and manages to combine musical discipline with fun and the result is a choir full of kids that clearly love it, and who perform better every time.

Child, age 8

Tessa has helped me not to worry.  I feel happy and confident.  I am sad this is our last session but really happy that I am now confident.