Refugees are Welcome Here!

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A lovely afternoon had by all at the Eat and Greet event organised by Kings Heath Action For Refugees (KHAFR). Money was raised to support the Aegean Solidarity Network , who work with refugees in  Leros. This is a small Greek island which has seen huge numbers of refugees fleeing the brutal war in Syria.  ASN is funded purely through donations and provides critical initiatives to help provide a humanitarian response to the crisis.

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.A very receptive audience sang along to various themed songs, including “The Message”, The Migrant Song, and a storming “Refugees are Welcome Here!”

A fun packed day, with lots to see and do. Well done KHAFR and hope to see you all again soon!

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Kings Heath Action for Refugees will continue to welcome your donations and support. Click on the logo to visit their Facebook page.

 

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February and March events

flyer-for-concert Events coming up soon:

The lead up to Christmas was a busy old time for Clarion, and we intend the next few months to be equally active. On February 18th we will be performing at an event arranged by Kings Heath Action for Refugees:

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Hot on the heels of February we will be bringing you our Spring concert at Kings Heath All Saints Centre. This year we have invited our good friends and special guests Pam Bishop and Graham Langley – not to be missed!

Keep watching for more events…

Celebrating 80 Years of the Workers Music Association

P1070760.JPGOn March 1 1936 the Workers’ Music Association (WMA) was set up at a specially convened meeting at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.  In attendance were representatives of various workers’ music organisations including the London Labour Choral Union, the Co-op Education Committees and the Co-op choirs.

In the words of Aubrey Bowman:

“Hitherto, music had been thought of as having to be brought “to” the workers, to elevate them and immerse them in the beauties of song and so alleviate the drudgeries and miseries of work and everyday living. It could, as one 19th century writer cogently put it, help stave off disaffectedness and revolution. But, in the WMA, there was a complete reversal. A revolution, in fact. Instead of music being brought to the workers, it is the music of workers’ struggle, of workers’ battles and of their triumphs which is brought to the musical arena.” Morning Star March 1 2006.

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On Saturday September 24 2016, Birmingham Clarion Singers were proud to take part in an event celebrating 80 years of the WMA, and remembering some of its founders and leading supporters, including Aubrey Bowman and Alan Bush, two of our past presidents. In the very apt and inspiring surroundings of the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green, a number of soloists and choral groups performed for an enthusiastic crowd.

Rachel O’Higgins, daughter of Alan Bush, opened the event, with an account of how her father and (mother, Nancy) tirelessly worked to encourage music with social significance.
This was followed by the beautiful voice of Maria Caravanas,  the London- based Strawberry Thieves, and our very own Tim Martin.

 

 

Keith Sparrow. as well as providing a solid accompaniment for the solo singers, also performed a piano composition.

 

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Next to entertain us was Elsa –  “who sang with such great wit, lightness and fun of ‘Riding on Top of the Car’ that you totally believed ‘her music hall’ song.” (Daniel Keeler, Birmingham Clarion Singers).

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Members from Red and Green choir invited us to join in with their energetic performance  thoughtfully providing songsheets for the audience.

 

Marion and Steve Harper gave us a couple of their rousing and cheeky folk tunes, which again had everyone singing along and tapping their feet.

The event was rounded off by Birmingham Clarion Singers, who performed six songs to represent some of the work of the WMA – Bring Out the Banners, The Refugees, A Rebel Song, Comrades in the Dark, Be Moderate and This Path.

A very enjoyable day was had by all, and special thanks must go to Anne Schuman, whose tireless work and commitment ensured the event was a resounding success.

 

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Anne Schuman – WMA Organiser Extraordinaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Singing for Socialism this Autumn

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Chainmakers Festival 2016

After a brief break, we are now back to our rehearsals each Wednesday evening at All Saints Centre, Kings Heath, starting at 7.30pm.

A busy schedule ahead for the next few weeks:

Saturday 24th September: WMA 80th Anniversary. Birmingham Clarion Singers will be taking a coach down to London to celebrate 80 years of the Workers Music Association.

Sunday 2nd October: National Demonstration at the Tory Conference – Clarion singing some rousing songs to start the march!

Saturday 15th October: All Saints Centre Concert with very special guest!!

Near the end of the month we will be having a celebration of the lives of Alan and Irene Rickman. We are also remembering the great contribution of Maureen “Mo” Powell to Clarion, who sadly died a year ago.

We will be forever in their debt.

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July Activities

After a turbulent few weeks politically and socially, and likely more to come, it is a real boost to join our voices together in unity and socialism. This month, Clarion will be participating in three very different events,  all with a common theme of support and strength, for sisters and brothers, in whatever struggle they are facing.

Friday 1st July: Public Event – Preventing Future Suffering

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11am-1.30pm: The Priory Rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF

 Contributions from:
 Lee Barron, Secretary of the Midlands TUC,  and Birmingham Clarion Singers
  Ceremonial Dove Release at 1pm.

Saturday 2nd July

Join Birmingham Clarion Singers at this year’s Chainmakers Festival in Cradley Heath – main stage at 11.50am.

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Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July

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On the weekend of July 9th-10th Birmingham Clarion Singers will be joining other Clarion choirs at Nelson ILP Clarion House in Lancashire, for tea and songs.
Read more about Clarion House

Wednesday July 13th

Finally, we will be holding our Annual General Meeting at All Saints Centre at 7.30pm, and then will take a break from rehearsals until the autumn.

Keep a song in your heart, and strength in your convictions.

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