“Everyone can sing; if you can hear and speak, then you can sing,” says trained singer, vocal coach and musical director Alison Eade as she invites islanders to stretch their vocal chords in a new series of Singing Workshops.
Born and brought up in Cornwall, Alison and husband Chris recently moved to New Tolsta, Lewis, the home of her late mother, Mairi Alasdair Ruadh, to build their ‘dream home’.
And having spent her time down south training singers, leading choirs, and performing in pantomime, musical theatre, cabaret and opera – as well as being guest soloist on the concert platform with many choirs, bands and orchestras – Alison is keen to bring the joy and fun of group singing to her new home.
“Since moving to the Hebrides I’ve been missing teaching and the exercise that singing brings,” she said. “So I’ve decided to run a series of workshops in Stornoway and, maybe, start a new kind of choir in the near future.”
Originally trained in classical voice, and latterly in contemporary voice, Alison ran a very busy teaching practice on the Isle of Wight before moving to Lewis.
She has produced and directed a number of musical shows and previously conducted three very successful choirs in Southampton, Fareham and the Isle of Wight.
“The Voxpop Choir performed all over the south of England from the Brighton Food Festival to the Eden Project and the famous Padstow Food Festival,” she expanded.
“They became a firm favourite of the big store John Lewis and sang twice a year in the store to raise monies for their chosen charity.”
Alison is now keen to bring her teaching talents to islanders ready to reach the rafters and sing their hearts out.
Over the years, Alison has developed a unique, holistic approach to teaching singers to find their voice, and her former students are always ready to praise the experience, with many moving on to great success in the music world.
“My former singers told me they have enjoyed a much improved singing ability and performance, and have all expressed what fun and pleasure their learning experience was,” continued Alison.
“That’s what is most important to me – singing has to be fun and a memorable teaching experience is what I always try to achieve.”
Musical islanders now have the chance to improve through Alison’s new series of Voxpop Singing Workshops – starting on Saturday, March 17th, and running for six weeks at Lewis Retirement Centre, Bayhead, Stornoway.
“These will be fun sessions covering chart music from the 1950s right through to the 00s,” said Alison. “It could be Sinatra or Presley, Abba or Elbow, the Carpenters or Coldplay!”
And Alison assures that no one will be asked to sing by themselves, instead enjoy the pleasure and experience which group singing can bring, as she adds: “Did you always want to sing but thought you couldn’t? Never found the right opportunity, or scared you might make a fool of yourself? Then this could be the chance you’ve been waiting for to find the confidence to sing your heart out!”
The Voxpop Singing Workshops are open for adults (age 18+), and to 14-17 year olds accompanied by an adult.
Workshops sessions run from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at a cost of £30 in total (£5 per session); and all song and lyric sheets, workshop notes, and practice MP3’s will be send via email when participants book.