Steel City Choristers and social inclusion charity Parson Cross Initiative (PXI) have developed Reasons to Sing! to help people explore the stories and emotions behind their favourite songs.

About Reasons to Sing!

Reasons to Sing! is an exploration of the role that songs play in our lives and the way in which they help us express and process our emotions and support us on our spiritual journey.

We have connected six songs chosen by people from PXI with six pieces from the traditional English choral repertoire through the themes of comfort, gratitude, loss, love, unity and structure.

All twelve songs have been recorded by Steel City Choristers with the hope that the beauty and transcendence of the choral tradition will help people to find the space to reflect on the role of songs in their own lives. We have developed course discussion notes to accompany our videos. 

Over time, we hope to work with more communities to explore their favourite songs and the themes behind them.

The Reasons to Sing! Course

Our short wellbeing course will help people reflect on the role that songs play in their lives.

Written by Steel City Choristers and Methodist Pioneer Minister, Nick Waterfield of Share Ministries, the course consists of a set of videos and easy-to-follow notes to support reflective discussion on each of the six Reasons to Sing! themes. 

The discussion notes and videos  are available free of charge for use by individuals or groups in a range of settings such as church and community groups, care homes and schools.

To find out more about our Reasons to Sing! wellbeing course, please register your interest  here.

If you have experience of the course, we’d love you to fill in our feedback form to tell us how it went.

The Videos

The Songs


Comfort

He’s got the Whole World in His Hands – traditional African-American spiritual (arranged Jeremy Dawson)
Psalm 136 – chant by Richard Lloyd

Gratitude
What a Wonderful World – Bob Thiele & George Weiss (arranged Timothy Peters)
For the Beauty of the Earth – John Rutter (words by Folliott Pierpoint)

Loss
The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended – hymn (tune: St Clement, by Clement Scholefield; words: John Ellerton)
In Paradisum from “Requiem” – Gabriel Fauré

Love
Angels from the Realms of Glory – hymn (tune: Iris, traditional French carol; words: James Montgomery)
If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis

Unity
Hi Ho Silver Lining – Scott English & Larry Weiss (arranged Timothy Peters)
Jerusalem – hymn (tune: Jerusalem, by Hubert Parry; words: William Blake)

Structure
Mr Blue Sky – Jeff Lynne (arranged Jeremy Dawson)
Agnus Dei from “Mass for Four Voices” – William Byrd

 

Video production: Dan Jackson, Subversive Productions
Audio recordings: Luke Dunn

The Reasons to Sing! Project

Reasons to Sing! started life in May 2021 as a year-long collaboration between Steel City Choristers and PXI, funded by Awards for All and the Worrall Male Voice Choir Grants Foundation.

Members of the PXI community told us about the songs that mattered the most to them or which evoked particularly strong memories. Steel City Choristers then arranged these songs to be sung by the choir.

Reflecting on the stories people told us about their favourite songs we matched them to six pieces from the traditional English choral repertoire through the themes of comfort, gratitude, loss, love, unity and structure.

The Concert

A series of workshops enabled a number of people from Parson Cross to learn to sing their six songs, and to then join with Steel City Choristers to perform them at a community concert, at which the choir also performed their six pieces. The audience also enjoyed the opportunity to join in a rousing encore of Hi Ho Silver Lining. 

What’s your favourite song?

We started the Reasons to Sing! project by asking members of Steel City Choristers to tell us the story behind their favourite songs. People in Parson Cross also told theirs. What’s yours?

“This moved me – just a person explaining why a piece of music, that I also love, moves him. Simple, powerful and authentic.”
Esmé Page, Sing2G7