Running between today (December 3) and December 10, Town Hall Symphony Hall is taking part in The Big Give’s ‘Christmas Challenge’ to double your donations and support the future of music making in Birmingham.

This year, over 100 people joined Town Hall Symphony Hall's free Reggae Choir and sung together for the first time at Town Hall, while over 400 singers from local community choirs took to the stage at Symphony Hall as part of the annual ‘Community Spirit’ showcase. But there’s so much more we could do…

The redevelopment of Symphony Hall's foyers will create dedicated spaces for learning and participation - that means, we'll be able to introduce over 24,000 young people and adults to a world of music every year.

Nicola Starkie, who performed in Community Spirit with Quinton Community Choir, said: “Singing is a vital part of life for so many of our choir members, bringing enjoyment and satisfaction and helping them to switch off from their other responsibilities to achieve a healthy life balance. Some singers have come to choir following a bereavement or while struggling with mental health issues and have found singing to be mood and confidence boosting, and the sense of community within the choir just what they needed.

“Symphony Hall is a wonderful resource for musicians from all over the world and it's brilliant to see it used by community groups from across the West Midlands too. We are really excited to see Symphony Hall's public spaces redeveloped so that there are more suitable spaces for all kinds of local groups to perform and so that community music making can be celebrated and encouraged in Birmingham.”

Richard Whitehouse of Northfield Notes Community Choir said: “Being in the choir means so much to me, I had the pleasure of meeting and singing with some very special people indeed, undivided by race, age or beliefs, and each with a story of their own. We have formed a very special bond through the love of music and song, one that goes beyond friendship, one that allows us to bring a little pleasure and joy to so many, long may we nurture and grow together”.

Janice Paine, choir co-ordinator for Northfield Notes, said: “In 2018 and 2019 we were lucky enough to take part in ‘Community Spirit’ at Symphony Hall. This opportunity empowered the whole choir to want to grow and develop, to improve their singing and musical skills, to share those skills through public performances and hopefully encourage others to do the same”.

Alison Sayer, CEO of Halas Homes, said: “Halas Homes choir members [above] feel empowered, motivated and gain a sense of achievement by being involved in performing as part of Community Spirit. Being a part of Community Spirit has opened doors and provided more opportunities to reach and perform to wider audiences in the region and beyond. The redevelopment of Symphony Hall will provide more open and accessible spaces which will enable access for all”.

Town Hall Symphony Hall has teamed up with multi-platinum selling vocal group The Overtones to highlight the importance of music. With their innate charm and adherence to vintage-modernist style, and a devotion to the timeless appeal of male vocal harmonies, The Overtones are a bridge between pre-rock’n’roll classicism and lively 21st century entertainment. They’ve sold over a million albums, made countless TV appearances and filled Symphony Hall to capacity on tour after tour. X Factor’s Jay James, who recently joined The Overtones, said: “When I got into music it was not about being famous it was about expressing myself, getting up on stage doing what I love to do, connecting with people who are maybe going through the same things and make a living doing it. I don’t think it’s any secret that the boys have had a difficult couple of years. I've personally had a difficult couple of years also, so we all feel like we’ve come together and using music, like people do, to comfort and turn the page onwards and upwards.”

With one donation, you can help us inspire twice as many people. Donations to Town Hall Symphony Hall between today (3)-10 December will be generously matched by the Patrick Trust & our Big Give Champion, the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Your money can inspire twice as many young people and adults with a life-long love of music.

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