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singing safari
group: Singing Safari

Twice a year Chris Rowbury creates a choir from scratch over just six rehearsals. There are no auditions and all songs are taught by ear. The idea is that we go on an imginary Singing Safari collecting exotic songs from around the world. The Singing Safar...  more

Crven fesić (Bosnia)
video: Crven fesić (Bosnia)

"My sweetheart ... ... is wearing a red fez ... has black eyes, and honey lips. Does he want to kiss me? I’d give all the czar’s treasure for it." This concert was the culmination of a six-week project which creates a choir from scratch for one ni...  more

Oh freedom (spiritual)
video: Oh freedom (spiritual)

Traditional African-American spiritual This concert was the culmination of a six-week project which creates a choir from scratch for one night only. Each winter and summer, Chris Rowbury gathers a random bunch of singers from in and around Ipswich. The...  more

Hold on (gospel)
video: Hold on (gospel)

Gospel. Not sure of the source, but possibly an arrangement of a song written by the Williams Brothers, a traditional black gospel music group from Jackson, Mississippi formed in 1960. This is a slowed down version with the word 'God' replaced with 'love'...  more

Senzenina (South Africa)
video: Senzenina (South Africa)

Zulu civil rights song, one which came to be sung at political funerals in the 1980s. What have we done? We shall meet in heaven This outdoor performance was the culmination of a six-week project which creates a choir from scratch for one night onl...  more

Heke hau (Hawaii)
video: Heke hau (Hawaii)

Hawaiian proverb set to music. "Love is like a healing dew washing away all hurt". From Lila Flood, arranged by Nickomo. This concert was the culmination of a six-week project which creates a choir from scratch for one night only. Each winter and summe...  more

Mravalžamier (Republic of Georgia)
video: Mravalžamier (Republic of Georgia)

“Mravalžamier” is the name of a large number of rural and urban table songs from the Republic of Georgia. It means Many happy returns. May God give you long life. Literally: years and epochs of happiness to you. They are sung at feasts or supras as they a...  more

blog: Singing Safari arrives after 6 weeks on the road

The Singing Safari has been on the road for five weeks now collecting exotic songs from all over the world. Just 6 days to go before we arrive at Holywells Park in Ipswich to perform the songs we've gathered. Tired, dusty and a few less people in o...

Vuma (South Africa)
video: Vuma (South Africa)

South African gospel song: "Say yes to salvation. Our home is in heaven, this is a promise, So say yes to salvation." Part of the winter Singing Safari concert, Ipswich 2013. From the Singing of the Soweto Gospel Choir, arranged by Chris Rowbury. This ...  more

blog: How to build a choir from scratch in under an hour

[A version of this article first appeared as a post on my blog From the Front of the Choir]   A few years ago I was asked by BBC Radio Suffolk to create a choir from scratch to perform in a concert in aid of Children in Need: The Big Night Out...