To celebrate ten years of musical loveliness Berakah Arts embarked on another National Tour , again supported by The Arts Council of England. New music is written especially for the tour and two new members join – Shirley Smart on cello and Helen Sanders-Hewitt on viola. The music is taken in a more acoustic direction with songs having a more ‘small chamber ensemble’ feel. Again working closely with established community groups in each city, the concerts are kicked off by a special gala at St. James’ Church in Piccadilly, London. The choir takes part and performs a set of songs and London is chosen as the place to launch the first Berakah Arts Youth Band facilitated by me (it’s Mo Nazam again) . The youth band plays a spellbinding set and the whole night is brought to a close with rapturous applause for the new music performed by the Berakah Players.
The tour takes us to perform concerts and workshops in Brighton (Brighton and Hove Methodist Church), Luton (Library Theatre) , Leeds (Cross Flatts Park), Rotherham (Old Market Theatre) and Oxford (St. Hilda’s College) which are all ‘hotspots’ of social tensions brought about by potential divisions in the communities. The concert in Leeds was held in the spirit of peace and reconciliation on the commemoration day of the 2007 London terror attacks, as two of the people involved in the bombing came from that community in Leeds. In Rotherham the concerts draws an audience including Muslim women and young people who have never before attended a live concert. Again, the music and the message of unity that the tour is built around is a resounding success.
Here’s a lovely Berakah-ised version, filmed at St. James in Piccadilly, of a beautiful song that has become a centrepiece of our live performances.