Salvation Army homelessness choir to perform at Royal Albert Hall
published on 28 Nov 2018
A Salvation Army homelessness choir will perform at the Royal Albert Hall for the first time tomorrow night.
The choir is made up of people affected by homelessness, as well as staff from The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Service who support them.
As part of their performance, the Voices of Hope choir will sing ‘This is me’ from The Greatest Showman, and will help launch the Christmas season as part of The Salvation Army’s annual carol concert.
The choir is the creative inspiration of homelessness services manager Helen Murdoch, who last year attended a team training event where managers were encouraged to use singing as a motivational activity to bring people together and build confidence. Now almost a year later the success story continues.
In that time, the inspirational singers have showcased their talents at the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
But now they’re gearing up for their biggest performance yet in the spectacular surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall.
One member of the choir is Nassar, who lives in Glasgow. He first came to the Salvation Army after becoming homeless when he moved from London. Nassar was given support by the church and charity to move into his own home. He now works at a Salvation Army residential centre in Glasgow, helping others who are experiencing homelessness.
He said: “Being part of the choir has been a blessing. I first performed with them at Christmas last year and since then my confidence as a singer and a person has improved massively.
“When I first came to Scotland I had nowhere to live. Thankfully I found a home with the Salvation Army. I’m looking forward to performing with the choir at the Royal Albert Hall. It will be a privilege and an honour.”
The Salvation Army choir was set up by Helen Murdoch, assistant regional homelessness manager, and music specialist Bobby Weir.
Helen, who has worked in homelessness services in Glasgow for over 25 years, said she wanted to create something that would bring people from all backgrounds and areas of the Salvation Army together.
Helen said: “Our choir is made up people who are experiencing homelessness and the Salvation Army staff and volunteers who support them. It’s a safe space where people can have fun and be themselves without worrying about being labelled or judged. The members of the choir chose the name Voices of Hope and they are really living up to it.”
Bobby added: “The Salvation Army’s history is steeped in music and we know that music and singing makes people feel good. To see the progress of the choir over the past year has been incredible. People’s confidence and abilities have grown beyond our imagination.
“Everyone involved has worked hard and are looking forward to performing at the Royal Albert Hall… Everyone is excited now and looking forward to putting on a good performance.”