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Companion Voices: Singing for the Dying
22 June 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm£5
Companion Voices are groups of people located in the UK, who meet to learn songs and prepare together for singing at the bedsides of people who are dying. We sing for people on request and by arrangement. Learning groups typically have up to sixteen participants, with the idea of creating close-knit and trusting relationships, both vocally and emotionally. Our songs are carefully and lovingly chosen, with the aim of bringing a sense of peace, comfort and support to our listeners.
Judith Silver is a freelance musician, leading choirs and singing groups, composing and performing and working in many different contexts. She founded the first Companion Voices group in Brighton, February 2014. Inspired by the Threshold Choirs the States and having had the vision and intention to start such a project in the UK for over a decade, she had long been waiting for the time to feel right. There are currently groups in Brighton, Kings Langley, Frome and Cambridge, with new groups being planned in Weymouth, Hastings, Oxford and Southampton.
On the subject of talking about death, Judith says: ‘These aren’t common conversations though those of us having and encouraging them are increasing in number and also increasingly visible and audible! More and more people are making plans, finding out about what can be done to make the time after they die easier for those they leave behind, and this is a great advance, not to mention setting our own minds at rest by doing it.
For Companion Voices, we only sing for people on request and our strong preference is for that request to come from the dying person, rather than from a friend, family member or anyone else. Since obviously it’s not always possible to communicate wishes when you’re in the process of dying, we urge people to consider ahead of time – as early as possible – whether they would like us to sing for them, and make sure those closest to them know this. We can be included in care plans, advance directives and any official or unofficial documents.”
Book a ticket for the whole weekend.
Includes all access to talks, workshops and concerts.