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This Is Home



This Is Home..... the title of a song by Sophia Efthimiou that our choir, along with many others, have been singing for a couple of years now. Here are members of Harbour Lights, Amble's Community Choir, at our 'new' (since 2021) home, Bede Street Club, rehearsing for our appearances at Warkworth Variety Show last Friday and Saturday evenings. They sang this song, and Flora Smith's song 'Harbour Lights' which is all about living here, and the journey the river makes from the hills to the harbour. I was proud and thankful and it got me thinking.


North Northumberland is my home, and Autumn shows it at it's finest, with the beauty of the cold dark skies, green and gold and red of the fields and woods, my beloved shoreline always there and always restlessly changing - my inspiration and my comfort. My kids always say - another song about the sea/moon/winter/water? What can I say... I haven't done with those themes yet, by a long chalk! We live in an incredibly beautiful place. I never forget it.


And at work.....I am so lucky. I know so many wonderful singers and people who want to learn and to progress with their singing - as do I! I feel at home when I am teaching and leading and, I hope, listening as well as talking and singing. Over the years here I have started many projects and have been fortunate in that I have been asked to take part in wonderful events too. This time of year always feels like a time to plan, to create, to anticipate. I have collaborations in mind, masterclasses to conjure up, fabulous people to run workshops with (Stretch and Sing, Soup and Sing, Jilly Jarman's Jazz Improv Choir) and ideas fizzing away all the time.


I have learned to leave a space for opportunity, and indeed, exciting requests do come through; like the email which led to our recent experience with Matthew Tuckey's 'The Rime' project, which saw our choir singing and recording with an orchestra, a truly unforgettable day for us.


Harbour Lights Community Choir is home. Bede Street is a wonderful home for Harbour Lights. My computer is home, the place where I connect with students who have become friends. Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Cumbria and Scotland are all home.


Singing is home.

Sarah C Gray



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