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refugee choir
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S o c i a l    M u s i c i a n

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COMMUNITY CHOIR LEADER

 

  • at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, since April 2015, teaching songs, working on English vocabulary, self-confidence in a friendly ambiance, sharing songs in their native languages and writing songs together.                        The group performs regularly in important venues, sometimes alongside the World Harmony Orchestra: Amnesty International UK, St Paul's Cathedral, British Museum, Islington Town Hall, Union Chapel, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity, the Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust and Genocide, Islington Green and the Decorium.                                                             To find out more about the centre, please click here.                                                     I also led a project with refugees from all over London to record the John Lennon song 'Happy Christmas War is Over'. The project was managed by journalist Kate Bond and director Steve Tiller. The sales of the song raised money for Islington Centre (see video on this page). The recording was a great success and was covered by newspapers such as Good News Network in the United States, Aftenposten in Norway and Mr Mondialisation in France.

  • at Core Arts charity with adults suffering from severe mental health issues.          We rehearse every Friday a set of songs that aims to empower them and improve their confidence. I arrange the songs to include harmonies and call and response for everyone to enjoy and be engaged. The process of learning songs together and performing regularly at gigs is therapeutic.                                                          I also give one-to-one vocal coaching sessions and have arranged songs and Logic pieces written by the members for a performance with the World Harmony Orchestra (see picture). 

 

  • with older people, the 'Bring Back project' organised by SeeThrough Theatre, twice a week between June 2014 and June 2017, led by Julia Evangelista, taking place at Queens Crescent Community Centre (Kentish Town), involving movements and acting, singing their favourite songs.                                             We performed in venues including the Queens Crescent Community Festival and the Thanet Centre. Find out more about the project here. 

                                                                                                                                                       

  • with socially excluded adults (living in poverty, with mental health issues, refugees and older people) at HCCT (Kings Cross), volunteering between October 2013 and 2016, teaching them songs, singing and accompanying them on the piano, preparing them for regular Open Mic performances organised by Upbeat Music. Performances also include: 'World Mental Health Day' (october 2014), and at the 'Stuart Low Trust'. 

  • with children, in after-school clubs and on summer camps, for example in Ymonville (France) and at Drayton Park Primary School (London) for Creative Islington.                                                                                                                      The children learn to work in a group, listening to each other, expressing themselves through music and singing. I especially love composing and arranging the songs together, igniting their senses of creativity and ownership. They are proud of performing in front of their friends and parents.                     This video shows an excerpt of the final performance in Ymonville (July 2015)

SOCIALLY ENGAGED SINGER SONGWRITER

 

  • I have written about 15 songs highlighting social issues, expressing hope in  peace and social change. Some of those songs were based on poems written by writer Sita Brahmachari, Jane Ray and the refugee students from the Islington Centre during their Art and Writing Class. Some others have been created for the World Harmony Orchestra.

  • I especially love using quotes from inspirational speakers, like in this video of my song 'Be the change'. The lyrics are excerpts freely adapted from Russell Brand's book 'Revolution'. The title and chorus is the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi (Music production, backing vocals, keys and bass: Ravi Cal. Song writing, vocals, cello: myself).

  • To hear more of my songs, please check my Soundcloud page

CELLO/STRINGS TUTOR IN LESS PRIVILEGED AREAS

  • Currently 'Junior Artist in Residence' (Strings Specialist) at Ark Schools Music since November 2013: co-leading string sectionals with the Fusion Ensemble (secondary schools students), preparing annual galas taking place at the Barbican (here is a video from a previous gala)

  • In 2014-2015, I was 'Lower Strings Specialist/Musician' at In Harmony Nottingham (Sistema England), giving whole-class, group and individual lessons at Robin Hood Primary School.                                                                         In 2015-2016, I was 'Cello Tutor' for Tower Hamlets Music Service at Smithy Street Primary School: small group lessons to Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6.                      Previous experience as a cello teacher/tutor include: Cello teaching at Fecamp and Dieppe music conservatoires (2007-2009); also covered lessons at Rouen Music Conservatoire, was a member of panels for exams in Normandie, took part in 'Orchestra in a day' organised by 'Sparks' at the Royal College of Music (2013).

The 'Refugee Choir'

Cello Workshop at Festival Flam

(near Bordeaux, France)

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