Eastfield Choir forms for Zoom sessions and video recording in Scarborough

Eastfield Choir musical director Mark Gordon. Picture: Richard Maw, Infocus

THE Stephen Joseph Theatre has created a new choir for residents of Scarborough’s Eastfield area.

The Eastfield Choir is meeting via Zoom on Mondays from 11.30am to 12.30pm for five weeks from July 13 in a virtual venture supported by Scarborough company McCain Foods and residents’ group EAST.

They will work towards filming a song chosen by Eastfield residents from Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’; The Zutons and Amy Winehouse’s hit Valerie; George Ezra’s Budapest; Abba’s Mamma Mia and Ben E King’s Stand By Me. 

Voting will take place on the Eastfield Past and Present Facebook page during the week beginning July 29. 

Helpful guide music tracks and videos will be sent to choir members to assist them in preparing for  the film recording.

The SJT’s associate director for children and young people and Funky Choir member Cheryl Govan says: “This is a fantastic intergenerational project with a strong emphasis on creating new social links. Anyone can take part, whatever their age and ranging from whole families to those living on their own.

“The first term of the project will result in a video using footage captured by the residents and edited together. This will be a lovely record for everyone involved.

“If you have a smart phone, an iPad or a laptop you can access Zoom and we can help you if you need some support. And don’t worry if you don’t like the first song – a choir has to start somewhere, and it could be your choice next time.”

Cheryl adds: “Don’t be put off if you think you can’t sing: this is about having a good time. The best bit about Zoom choirs is only the people in your own house can hear you…

“…And thanks to the generous support of McCain, membership of the Eastfield Choir is free!”

Choir members can access the videos on private Facebook groups that they are invited to join at the start of the project.

Charlotte Pick, communications business partner at McCain, says: “We’re delighted to support the Eastfield Choir through our partnership with the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

“McCain has been a part of the Scarborough community for over 50 years and is proud to play a role in the communities where we live and work. This uplifting project will help reduce feelings of isolation and allow residents to feel part of the community again.”

The SJT team already has worked with residents’ group EAST on various projects, such as helping to clear up The Dell, the area’s nature reserve.

“We’re really excited about the choir,” says EAST’s Adele Armstrong Jackson. “When we first met with Cheryl Govan, we spoke about what we would like to do in Eastfield: clearing the rubbish from The Dell was one project, and an inter-generational activity like this choir was another.” 

The new choir is led by musical director Mark Gordon, who says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be involved in this project. I love running choirs and generally having fun singing, so it’s good to meet (well, virtually meet!) a lot of like-minded people. Singing is fantastic for lifting the spirits and putting a smile on the face of both the singer and the listener. 

“I’m also excited to see the end product: the idea that a bunch of people who don’t know each other are going to come together and do something fabulous and community based like this is such a wonderful concept. I hope loads of people will get involved – the more the merrier! And remember, it’s not about having the world’s best voice, it’s about enjoying singing, being prepared to give it a go and having some fun!”

A prominent figure on the Scarborough music scene for more than 30 years, Mark performs regularly with many bands and acts as musical director for several theatre shows. He teaches music at Scarborough schools and runs youth orchestras, jazz bands, rock workshops and choirs, as well as being a private piano teacher. 

For more information on the Eastfield Choir, go to:  sjt.uk.com/event/1047/eastfield_zoom_choir