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Corn Exchange invites singers join The Unlocked Voices

Corn Exchange Newbury is inviting people in West Berkshire and the surrounding area to join The Unlocked Voices this summer to learn and record an original anthem written by Tamsin Kennard.

The recording of this anthem will be used in a performance of Unlocked and Unbolted, a new piece of theatre presented by a group of young performers on Saturday 5 September at the Corn Exchange.

Written and directed by Bryn Holding, Unlocked and Unbolted is based on the thoughts and experiences of young people aged 14 – 21 which were shared in a series of online group conversations. A group of young performers from West Berkshire will come together to rehearse during August before presenting it as a physically distanced performance at the beginning of September. This will either be in front of a socially distanced audience or will be filmed for broadcast, depending on the current guidelines for performance at that time.

Musical Director and Composer Tamsin Kennard will lead the rehearsals for The Unlocked Voices which will take place via Zoom from 7pm to 8pm on Wednesday 19, Thursday 20, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 August. Anyone aged 5 to 105 from West Berkshire and the surrounding area is invited to take part but participants must be able to attend all four sessions and those under 16 years should be supervised by an adult. Following these rehearsals, participants will be asked to submit a recording of their vocal line which will then be edited together to make the final track which will be used in the production.

Bryn Holding says: "Unlocked and Unbolted has emerged as a response piece to the Covid-19 pandemic. We had a brilliant set of online discussions which are now being shaped into a performance text as well as inspiring the lyrics for this song. I can't wait to get into rehearsals; it's been great to take the restriction of social distancing and use it as a creative provocation. To have an originally composed piece of music, sung by the wider local community, placed at the heart of this piece, will be a truly treasured moment and I look forward to meeting all the participants online as we virtually sing together."

Tamsin Kennard added: "It is incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate in this way and create a song that is a direct response to how the young people have experienced lockdown and the unprecedented times we have all been living through. Music, melody and harmony have a magical way of bringing words to life, especially when those words come from people’s real lives and lived experiences. We cannot wait to bring together a group of voices of all ages - this is a way for us to connect across distance and raise our voices together in an anthem for the times."

The Corn Exchange Newbury is delighted to be working with Berkshire Youth on this project which has been kindly supported by the Lily and Marcus Sieff Charitable Trust and Greenham Trust.

It is free to join The Unlocked Voices, but places must be booked in advance by midday on Wednesday 19 August. For more information contact the Corn Exchange Box Office on 0845 5218 218 (calls cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge) or visit www.cornexchangenew.com/unlockedvoices

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