The Success of Poplar Singers
Poplar Singers are a Poplar based choir, running for about two years. These past two years have seen them go from strength to strength, growing in membership, confidence and talent. We spoke to the founder, Hannah, about the choir and about her own passion for singing.
How did it start?
It started with the founder, Hannah. Singing has been a life-long passion for her, she says. She’s always been in traditional choirs and has seen most of her family go into the creative and performing arts. Not long after she started with Poplar HARCA in their communications department, the Accents team discovered this passion, encouraged her to organise a choir and helped her to raise initial funding for the project.
At first she found the idea of running something like this quite daunting – with the funding needed, not knowing whether people would turn up and taking on the responsibility of it all. But, through promotion with help from Spitalfields Music, 25 people actually turned up on the first day! It proved to her that there was both a need and a want for it.
The first year was tough, with just Hannah running it and so much to keep on top of. But now it sounds as if they’ve really found their feet. She’s delegated work and roles to members of the choir and they’ve become an actual community body. They pay a conductor, organise fundraisers every year, and perform at events like the Chrisp Street Lights Switch On, Langdon Park Festival, and the Queen coming to Poplar. The demand for their performances has become so much now that they sometimes have to turn down invitations.
But, for all their success, the choir still retains its focus on community. Around 15-20 people come a week, and Hannah would love to see you there, too!
So, why should you come?
The group consists of a wide variety of people, from those who have sung their whole lives, a jazz singer, to some who have never even sung before. It’s pure fun, Hannah says, with no auditioning, no pressure and no need to feel intimidated. Anything goes in the group, and you don’t need to be able to read music to come along!
More than that, though, is that it has become a community hub. The group has brought together people who would never normally have met – even if they live in the same block of flats. The members of the choir love this in particular, Hannah says; the chance to meet and chat with their neighbours, make new friends and connections in the community. They look out for the elderly members of the group by giving them lifts and everyone enjoys the tea breaks in the sessions.
With everything from pop music to traditional African rounds and Beatles mashups, it never gets boring. Everyone gets stuck in and plays an active role in the group, and they’ve all seen a boost to their self-confidence. The elderly members in particular say that it’s brilliant for combating isolation.
In the future, Hannah is looking forward to seeing the group’s membership grow, performing at more exciting events, and the fundraiser they will host at All Saints Church in the Summer. She would love to see you there, as would every member of the group.
Want to join? Contact:
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