LYC Blog #13: Intergenerational Singing

Published 14 June 2024

Amy Young, LYC’s Development Officer, shares insights on our partnership with the West London choir, Petros Singers, and the incredible benefits of intergenerational singing.

Last July, members of LYC West performed alongside the West London adult choir, Petros Singers, for their 40th Anniversary Concert. For over two years, Petros Singers have been staunch supporters of LYC, collecting donations at the end of their concerts which have been doubled through our match funding campaigns. Petros Singers collected an astonishing £700 in their last concert for LYC, which was doubled through the our Champions for Children Appeal. This generosity has enabled us to reach more young people in West London through our engagement work, and financial assistance scheme.

Intergenerational Singing: Petros Singers and LYC West

Watching LYC West, our Ealing-based choir for 7-11 year olds, perform with the brilliant Petros Singers last year was truly inspiring. It was so lovely to watch a truly intergenerational community being built on stage as the choirs sang together; it was a great way for LYC West to work with new voices, young and old.

Partnerships such as these, where our members get the opportunity to share the stage with the wonderful choirs such as the Petros singers, are so incredibly powerful. They have a very real, transformative effect on the lives of our young people and at the concert I saw that in full effect. LYC West sang brilliantly, watched and learned as they saw the Petros singers in action, and left the venue with huge smiles on their faces.
– Freddie Aitken, LYC’s Membership and EDI Manager

To celebrate this partnership, we asked members of both LYC West and Petros Singers to share their experiences and reflections on their singing journeys, and their performance with each other last summer. Here’s what they had to say:

When did you start singing?

Francis from Petros Singers shared, “It’s natural to sing, so I guess it started in infancy; then in school choirs. I’ve been singing on and off for 75 years. Singing really revived as a major pleasure upon retirement around 20 years ago.”

Jenny, also from Petros Singers, said, “I’ve really been singing as long as I can remember… When I was in High School I had the opportunity to spend all day in a choral workshop, where we really immersed ourselves in music. I was transported. Time flew. I had never felt so connected and alive in my life. I knew from that point I wanted to make music central to my future aspirations!”

How does singing make you feel?

Jenny said, “Singing makes me feel alive. Singing with the Petros Singers brings me so much joy every time we sing, whether it’s a rehearsal or performance. I love that we are serious about working hard to collaborate and have something beautiful and meaningful to share with the audience.”

Francis added, “Singing with others gives me a sense of togetherness and a sense of exhilaration through performance!”

LYC West Member (age 10) shared “singing makes me so proud of myself!”

Another member (age 8) added “Singing makes me feel like anything is possible!” and “it makes me express my feelings whether I’m happy or not!”.

How did you feel when LYC West and Petros Singers performed together?

Francis shared “I was delighted to be singing alongside so much talent [LYC West] and was very impressed with the quality of their singing!”

Jenny added “It was so fun to sing songs my own children enjoy singing, and see the West kids experience what music can do to bring them joy, life and connection… I love working with others to make something beautiful that can be enjoyed and shared, and that connects us to something truly transcendent!”

LYC West member (age 9) said “I enjoyed singing with them [Petros Singers]. I like getting to see new people and sing with them”.

Another member said “It made me feel very happy and joyful!”

The nave of a church viewed from the balcony.  At the altar is a choir with children in front and adults behind.
7 children in green LYC T shirts standing in two rows and singing
six children in green LYC T shirts, standing in two rows, with their arms in the air.

Images by Chris Marchant

LYC West’s collaboration and partnership with Petros Singers platforms our intergenerational work, which we continue to expand at LYC. Intergenerational music making is a proven tool to ‘improve sense of self-worth and self esteem for both older and young people’ and develops a greater sense of ‘community cohesion’ (IMM Annual Report, Sep 2022, p.4).

Last month we put on a free ‘Come and Sing day’ in Bermondsey and welcomed people of all ages to try out singing (pictured below), and next year we will begin to work with the Southwark based Almshouse Appleby Blue to deliver truly transformative, intergenerational events with LYC South East. Keep a look out for our upcoming free intergenerational singing projects!

Petros Singers are performing at St Michael and All Angels on 6 July 2024. To find out more about their work, and upcoming concerts please click here!

Click here to donate to LYC, to ensure more young people can have access to inspiring musical opportunities! 

 

A group of young children and one adult standing up and singing, with two choir leaders in yellow tops leading.
Three women sitting on chairs, looking off camera and smiling.
A little girl wearing a white jumper and blue jeans and singing, with other children visible in the background also singing.

Images by Belinda Lawley

UNLOCKING YOUNG PEOPLE’S POTENTIAL THROUGH THE POWER OF CHORAL SINGING

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