AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- To provide an open choir and encourage all people regardless of racial background, age, gender and musical experience to come and learn songs from the Afro-Cuban tradition; particularly songs from the Lucumi, Congo and Dahomian tradition with Daniela De Armas, Bill Bland, Tony Urduneta, Yosvani Diaz and other experts when provided with the opportunity.
- To entertain the public and invite them to share the joy of singing and dancing to Afro-Cuban rhythms
- To provide historical and cultural education as to the background of the songs to the members of the choir, to the public and also from time to time within an education context.
- To encourage the idea that singing unites us as a community. To encourage in particular family members to come and sing together.
- To ensure that those teaching or accompanying the choir or on behalf of the choir in circumstances where young people or vulnerable adults are concerned have CRB checks and to put into practise the Child Protection Policy.
- To provide extra workshops in conjunction with regular rehearsals in order to further understand rhythm, co-ordination, stage presence and so on.
- Subscription to the choir is two tiered for waged and low waged. Subscriptions pay for admin, occasional rehearsal premises, subsidises percussionist’s fees and Teaching fees, in addition to bringing other experts over from time to time.
RUNNING THE CHOIR
- Choir is to be co-ordinated by a committee of six members, all volunteers directed by Daniela. Smaller working groups meet on a regular basis to tackle projects and to report back to the committee.
- Choir members are encouraged to submit ideas using their individual skills and volunteer when they can.
- The choir will run as a Non- Profit Organisation, all profits will be re-invested in the choir’s activities and projects.
- The Director of the Choir will be paid per Scheduled rehearsal and Concert
- To Guarantee the attendance of the percussionists, they will be paid per gig, to be confirmed per gig. Exceptions to this are fundraising activities and occasional charity or profile raising events.
- To have a quarterly meeting of the Committee and a yearly general meeting where progress and workings of the choir is discussed. Changes are to be decided by all members, and enforced by the committee.
CONTENTS AND ACTIVITIES
- To meet bi/tri monthly to rehearse led by Musical Director and Arranger Daniela De Armas and occasional workshops with other experts
- To be given a basic musical education, including scales, intervals, triads and chords, vocal harmony, aural training and voice production and control
- To learn basic dance steps to accompany songs, in order to improve confidence, co-ordination and rhythm.
- To learn the importance of rhythm in Afro-Cuban music by involving percussionists to accompany the rehearsals, workshops and performances.
- To involve Master percussionists when possible to instruct the percussionists and to accompany the choir when possible.
- To organise choir trips to see other choirs in action, giving members the opportunity to see similarities and differences of vocal traditions, to encourage and inform of any other musical opportunity useful for choir members.
- Open workshops
- Potential membership courses
- Publicity: leafleting, Demo/ Recording and Websites and Networking Sites
- Although the choir remains open non audition, the potential membership courses will aid the Director in knowing how best to place new members.
NB, This is an open choir, there is no audition process. In addition, there are no restrictions based on race, gender, or religious and spiritual practise. This is a cultural group that pay homage to a Spiritual tradition that has it’s roots in West Africa via Cuba. You don’t have to be of African Descent to join, nor do you have to be a practitioner, everyone is welcome. For those who would like to book us, please be aware that we are a diverse group.
This is an adapted version of the original constitution which was drawn up by members of the committee 17th March 2007, and then was further updated in February 2009 and then again in January 2010, at the open annual general meeting.
NEW MEMBERS INFORMATION:
REHEARSALS: Things change all the time, due to fluctuation of numbers and other things but currently we are now rehearsing two Sundays a month for three hours. If we have gigs, there may be other rehearsals.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: what you will learn are songs to the Orisha as sung in Cuba, but also other Afro Cuban genres, for example social songs ( RUMBA, MAKUTA, TUMBA FRANCESA) songs from the ARARA tradition ( Spiritual song with roots in Benin) and PALO ( with roots in Congo) also some songs from the spiritualist tradition. You will also learn about harmonies and singing and producing your voice without damaging it.
TEAM: I ( Daniela De Armas) direct and teach most songs. I am initiated as a Priestess of Oshun, having walked this path for coming up to 30 years and I have a lifetime of experience as a musician playing and singing all types of Cuban Music. We have a wealth of fantastic percussionists and experts that come in from time to time also. In addition we have dancers who comes in from time to time to give us movement tips! (and also to perform with us) we work sometimes with story tellers and visual artists and dancers and we love to collaborate with like minded artists.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: Participation in the Choir is not free. There are a lot of expenses involved. My teaching fee; occasional rehearsal space, and other expenses in addition to paying drummers and other experts to come in are paid by subscriptions. We have no funding. Our file-sharing site is also not free since we have so much information up there
Subscriptions are sliding scale:
- £10 low waged, non waged a month.
- £25 working member’s subscription.
- Please contact if there are difficulties and special circumstances
Direct debit or Standing order or Bacs transfer is how payment is accepted. If you want to pay via paypal that is also acceptable, please let me know if that is the case. Details of payment is below.
HERE ARE THE DETAILS:
SANTANDER: (P0 BOX 10102 PRESCOT STREET E18TN)
LONDON LUCUMI CHOIR (WORKSHOPS PERFORMANCES)
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 42810721
SORT CODE 09-06-66
There is TWO free trial sessions to see if this is for you and then there is the possibility of joining following setting up of a standing order. If you choose to leave at any time, it is necessary to give one months notice. If you go away but want to hold your place, then a £5.00 retaining fee is required monthly.
RUNNING THE CHOIR:
The choir is run mainly by me on a voluntary basis with a small group of volunteers
YOUR CHOIR: This is YOUR CHOIR. I cannot do a choir on my own! Any ideas welcome, sharing information on your page, and blogs is also really welcome. Please join and follow the Choir Blog and website, and let people know about it. Let me know your twitter account names also or look for the Choir and follow us on twitter and facebook
If you look at the menu on the right, there are many articles and background information. You may be interested in the historical background of the Lucumi faith, the setting up of the Choir, members stories, our project time line, it’s all on the Blog! Have a look also for more information on what we do: https://londonlucumichoir.wordpress.com/?s=what+happens+in+the+london+lucumi+choir
Punctuality and attendance:
This is difficult to enforce, however I insist on communication! That is all. Just let me know in advance if you cannot attend. Sometimes lateness cannot be helped, especially in London but please try to be on time. My number is 07887640540. Please text me yours and I will also let you know by text re rehearsals, and gigs.
Protocol in rehearsals
When there are a lot of people, it tends to get a little chatty. If you can Refrain from talking when any of the teachers are instructing that would be appreciated, we will have a chat/ liquid toilet break! If you have any questions please put up your hand and ask. If you don’t understand or want me to repeat something please let me know! I will be checking throughout rehearsal to make sure you are all OK! Remember this is fun and not meant to be frustrating!
ANYTHING ELSE: The Choir sing songs from a living spiritual tradition but detailed information about the religion is not taught in the class since not everybody is interested, or following the path. I always ask everyone to respect everybody’s individual path and interest. For people that are not initiated and interested in understanding more, you can contact me outside the space of the Choir. Some initiated members of the choir are not always happy to be asked questions. For those that are initiates please respect the rights of individuals who are just happy to come and sing.
For more information regarding the spiritual path please go to