The King’s Singers are joining forces with the Soundabout Inclusive Choir for their ‘Finding Harmony’ campaign.

The British a capella vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, are sharing their love for music and uniting with Didcot based music education charity, Soundabout.

The Soundabout Inclusive Choir has been chosen by The King’s Singers to become ambassadors of their new Finding Harmony campaign, aiming to raise awareness of the power of music to bring people together.

Soundabout is based in the Cornerstone arts centre in Didcot, with members ranging from age 11 to 75 the charity aims to empower those with disabilities and to use music to build relationships.

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Eddie Button is the countertenor in the six part ensemble, The King’s Singers. He said: “When deciding what our next big project would be, we wanted to react to what we see in a very divided world. We tour all over the world and what we see at our concerts are people from all different backgrounds, ages and cultures coming together. So we really recognise the power music has to bring people together especially in these divided times. We recorded an album which is the central part of our Finding Harmony campaign and on it there are 19 tracks.”

He added: “We wanted to do more than just the album, and so we have started the campaign with the support of our charity The King’s Singers Global Foundation. One aspect of our charitable outreach this year is our Finding Harmony ambassadors project of which Soundabout is one of our ambassadors.

“We have also got two other ambassadors, one called together productions which has a choir in London called sing for freedom and the mixed up chorus who work with people who are victims of torture and the prison choir project.”

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The Soundabout Inclusive Choir will be joining The King’s Singers for a workshop in Spring before they take to the stage in London for the ‘Finding Harmony Live’ performance in May.

Clare Cook is the CEO of Soundabout. She said: “The amazing thing about music is that it does reach parts of the brain that nothing else reaches. What we have seen with the Soundabout inclusive choir, is for many it is the one opportunity that they’re able to have a sense of agency and a sense of leadership.

“They may be non-verbal and they may need 24-hour support to eat, to be taken care of, to get to where they want to go and move their limbs, but they can have a voce in a choir and what we are about is participation. We are an inclusive choir so we are open to everyone of all ages and all abilities but we are more about actively taking away the barriers”

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To overcome those barriers Soundabout uses different techniques and technology. One of those techniques is to use i Pads and use an app called ‘Thumb Jam’. The app uses the pentatonic scale to give the members of the choir who do not have a voice an electronic voice so they can still contribute musically.

Ms Cook said: “It’s been amazing, because we have a real mixture of abilities. Most of our members when they started they sat back in their chairs and watched and they were a bit shy about participating.

"One by one they have found the confidence to come forward and now there are more people stood at the front than sitting in the chairs.

“Also from a musical perspective, there is a choir member called Sam and he is incredibly musical, he has down syndrome and he also has hearing loss. He used to have a stutter but he has found that music has really helped him overcome his stutter.

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“When he started with the choir he stood up and did a cover of Amazing Grace. He is incredibly talented, but he used to sing alone, he wasn’t really in the choir and now he can hold his within harmony parts within the choir.”

Both the King’s Singers and Soundabout are excited about the collaboration and the Finding Harmony campaign. Mr Button said: “Clare sent us one of their videos and it brought a tear to all of eyes, it is really inspirational.”

To find out more about the Soundabout Inclusive Choir visit,