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Newbury gotta a whole lot more soul

Local amateur choir Soul Reason are back for their third annual summer concert.

And this year is promising to be their biggest show yet.

On Saturday July 20, Soul Reason will be taking to the stage at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore, with Life & Soul: Songs of Love, Hope & Humanity.

Soul Reason
Soul Reason

Led by singing teacher Maia Hendrickx, this singing group started off as a free online club during lockdown. Initially focused on bringing the community together through song, it has since flourished into a fully-fledged choir, complete with their own four-piece band of professional musicians.

The choir sings songs from a broad contemporary repertoire, focusing on songs with uplifting messages from soul and funk genres.

This year, they will be joined by another local ensemble to add a further dimension to their performance. Maia says of the collaboration: “Group Sax are a fabulous, expressive and high-energy ensemble led by saxophonist Lorna Mountford.

“I am so excited to be sharing a stage with them.

“Since starting the choir, I have been desperate to add a horn section to some of our songs and now we have a fantastic one!”

As well as providing the horn section for the choir, Group Sax will be showcasing some of their trademark arrangements of jazz, funk and popular tunes.

Group Sax
Group Sax

With an impressive number of musicians on stage, it promises to be an uplifting night of music and tickets have already been flying.

Reflecting on the journey of Soul Reason Maia says: “I never expected to start a choir - our club was just a place for us to have a little sing and wave at each other during a really tough time. The fact that it has grown into this beautiful community is beyond anything I could have hoped for.

“This is the type of choir I always wanted to sing in and I am very proud of all we have achieved so far. Music, and singing especially, is a powerful tool for bringing people together - it provides a short-cut for bonding with others and there is something so special about creating harmonies together.

This choir’s roots are in community and wellbeing and, from that, it has now developed into the choir it is today.”

And with community and wellbeing in mind, Maia will be launching a new sister-choir to Soul Reason in September.

Community Soul wilI be a daytime vocal group, bringing together all of the soul and groove that Soul Reason is known for, but with a renewed focus on wellbeing, singing for health and making connections.

“Community Soul is aimed at anyone who has ever wanted to sing, but has felt overwhelmed at the the thought of starting,” Maia explains.

“It is a supportive, creative environment where adults can learn more about how their voice works, and enjoy all the wonderful health benefits of voices singing in harmony; a great balance of vocal technique, mindfulness and fun.

“I am hoping that the daytime scheduling will attract a variety of people; self-employed or WFH, retired and especially those who, like me, work odd hours and miss out on the usual evening social activities!”

Life & Soul: Songs of Love, Hope & Humanity, 20th July 20 @ Arlington Arts tickets: https://arlingtonarts.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows

Head to www.berkshiresoulchoirs.uk for more information on Community Soul and Soul Reason.

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