Cycle of Songs, June-July 2014

Cycle of Song Cambridge Summer 2014

We would like to invite your choir to take part in ‘Cycle of Songs’, to mark the arrival of the Tour de France in Cambridge on 7 July 2014. This is an Arts Council funded project commissioned by Cambridge City Council devised by the award winning Pilot Theatre and Historyworks. This project is a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the talent and diversity of Cambridge and we want as many local people of all ages as possible to get involved, share their voice and celebrate the city in song!

Nine songs and sound poems are being commissioned from a wide range of composers. The songs will be inspired by the stories of nine iconic locations along the route that the Tour will take in Cambridge. The lyrics for the songs and poems will be taken from research led by Historyworks, which is being undertaken by local people, research students and history groups into the hidden stories of Cambridge.

You can check out how the history project for Cycle of Songs is developing by going to the Historyworks website:

The songs will all be performed by local choirs and musicians and poets; community choirs, school choirs, formal and informal choirs, church and college choirs are all welcome.  Each participating choir will learn one vocal piece, which may be a song with a libretto or an accompaniment to a sound poem, involving textured choral singing.

In early July – a short film and an audio app of the performances of all the participating choirs will be available – the app is free and is designed to be listened to along the route of the Tour de France through central Cambridge: from Parker’s Piece, into town, around the Round Church, up to Great St Mary’s, along King’s Parade and out of town past the Fitzwilliam Museum and Botanic Gardens to Trumpington/London bound. The film will be screened at the City’s Big Weekend prior to the Tour and on the day itself.

In the weeks leading up to the Tour de France and on the day itself, there will be plenty of performance opportunities.

We will have an email address for correspondence from Cycle of Songs administration which is & will email you updates from this address.

What this will involve for your choir:

  • LEARNING A SONG: in Mid- May – the score and parts for a song (around 4 minutes) will be ready for your choir to learn. When possible, the composer will visit a choir session to introduce and teach the song.
  • FILMING AND RECORDING in Mid- June -Your choir will be filmed, photographed and recorded singing at an agreed location at a time to suit you (it can be the usual time of your rehearsals).
  • 3-5pm Sunday 11th May: CAMBRIDGE SINGS The Launch of the Cycle of Songs at Great St Marys Church, Cambridge. This will be an opportunity for participating choirs to meet at a song filled celebration! Each choir is invited to sing a favourite song from their recent repertoire to the other choirs and we will sing a song together which will be taught on the day by Rowena Whitehead from Talking in Tune. All of the choirs will be filmed singing together for a montage for press film and photography. The event will have a relaxed festival feel with refreshments and a live band afterwards. Families and friends are welcome and there will be an open door to the street to welcome new singers to sign-up for the Cycle of Songs Choir (for those who are not already in a regular choir) which Rowena will lead – see below
  • Saturday 21st June:  Cycle of Songs Pop Up Choir: All members of the CYCLE OF SONGS CHOIRS and friends and families are invited to come together to join the Cycle of Songs Choir for a big community singing session at the Cambridge Guildhall. There will be a free open-to-all one hour singing workshop in the Guildhall at 11.00am on Sat/ 21st June to practise an accessible Cycle of Song anthem which we will sing as a massed Pop Up Choir outside the Guildhall at midday. This event will be filmed and recorded. Song scores and parts will be made available three weeks before the day for people who sign up in advance to do this. We hope lots of your choir members will be able to come along as the film footage from today will be interspersed with that made on 11 May to create a short film
  • Sat. 5th July: 6-8.30pm  SING & SWIM –The Cycle of Songs Choir is invited to sing at the 10th annual Talking in Tune Sing and Swim for WaterAid at Jesus Green Open Air Swimming Pool –a very popular community event involving swimming, music, song and picnic. The Cycle of Song Anthem will be a feature of the programme! Your choir is invited to some and join the singing Poolside.
  • Sunday 6th July: Big Weekend Parker’s Piece Stage: Cycle of Songs will be programmed on the main stage – all choirs participating in Cycle of Songs are invited to sign up to perform on stage for 15 minute slot, singing the Cycle of Songs piece they have learnt integrated with other favourites from their repertoire: led by their Choir Leaders and facilitated by Cycle of Songs
  • Monday 7th July: Tour de France Day – Cycle of Songs Choirs are invited to participate in one of two ways – by  joining the primary school choirs at the Fitzwilliam Museum to sing the Cycle of Songs anthem together in our designated space – or by  organizing their own busking location to surprise and entertain the spectators. For example, the choir at John Lewis may sing from their shop window, in which case we hope to recruit a choir keen to sing back across the street from the railed front yard of Emmanuel College!  We have offers of designated spaces for the Cycle of Songs  from the Round Church and from various Colleges on the route, so places can be facilitated closer to the time, if requested. However, for those at work on Monday 7th July, unable to join us, they can tune into the anthem sung on local radio stations in our pre-supplied packages, and know that the film shorts of our Cycle of Songs will be projected on screens on Parker’s Piece and distributed to national and international news and sports outlets to showcase our Cycle of Songs.

SIGN UP SHEET – Please fill in this sign-up sheet indicating which events your Choir would be willing to participate in as a group – on the understanding that not all members would ever be able to attend these events! Once you’ve completed the sign-up sheet please email it back to the official Cycle of Songs email address at and cc: Rowena Whitehead at & Helen Weinstein

Best wishes,
Rowena Whitehead
Musical Director, Talking in Tune Community Music
Cycle of Songs Choir Activist
tel: 01223 573288
mobile: 07506- 293- 629

Professor Helen Weinstein,
Director of Historyworks
Producer for Cycle of Songs
twitter: @historyworkstv
mobile: 07974- 827- 753

Cycle of Song Cambridge Summer 2014

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Confirm -YES or NO Interested –  YES or NO
Sunday 11th May 3pm-5pm: CYCLE OF SONGS – choir gathering at Great St Mary’s – filming choirs
Saturday  21st June 11am-1pm : CYCLE OF SONGS – event in/outside Guildhall – filming choirs
Saturday 5th July 6pm-8.30pm:  SING & SWIM w CYCLE OF SONGS – Jesus Green Lido
Sunday 6th July early afternoon tbc: SING ON STAGE for CYCLE OF SONGS Parker’s Piece – Big Weekend event
Monday 7th July  SING ON STEPS – Fitzwilliam Museum 

Tour de France scheduled event 10.15-12.15