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Holly Jones’ Archway choir

PUBLISHED: 16:27 13 September 2018

Holly Jones siperfoming in the Singing for Our Lives project. Picture: Jolade Olusanya and Ruth Corney

Holly Jones siperfoming in the Singing for Our Lives project. Picture: Jolade Olusanya and Ruth Corney

Archant

A Holloway woman wants to bring the community closer together through singing, creating art and sharing a laugh.

Holly Jones from together productions at the Singing Our Lives concert in the Barbican. Picture: Holly JonesHolly Jones from together productions at the Singing Our Lives concert in the Barbican. Picture: Holly Jones

Holly Jones, 49, is the director at Together Productions, a not-for-profit social enterprise company which creates community arts projects, including spaces where marginalised voices can express themselves.

Nearly five years have passed since she co-founded the Mixed Up Chorus, with the goal of getting people from different religious backgrounds together to create music.

“We were really interested in how music and singing together can be a great opportunity to spend time with people and get to know them while doing something that’s really fun, said Holly, who has lived at the top of Holloway Road for the past 30 years.

“I was always into singing, said Holly. “But never very well which is why the choir is mixed ability and not auditioned.

Holly Jones, director of Together Productions. Picture: Holly JonesHolly Jones, director of Together Productions. Picture: Holly Jones

“It’s just about giving people confidence in a really relaxed and friendly environment.

She jokes that “the other great thing about a choir is there is always someone louder to drown you out” and says their music director, Jeremy Haneman, has only ever heard one bad singer, who he refuses to identify.

Holly added: “We have been rehearsing in Archway for a year and it’s a really great space – we all love being part of this community.”

She also encouraged readers to come and see the choir is doing a gig as part of the Archway with Words festival on September 28.

More recently Holly has teamed up with Freedom From Torture charity, in Isledon Road, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama to deliver the Singing Our Lives Project.

She said: “We have been making music together and thinking about the experiences of how people go asylum seekers go about building lives here.

“We performed at Union Chapel recently and we loved it.”

When asked what she likes most about living in Islington, Holly said: “I really appreciate Islington’s diversity, there is so much to do and people get on well and live alongside each other.

“But sometimes there is a lack of opportunity to meet people and that’s drives me to bring people in the borough closer together.”

Mixed up Chorus is holding a taster session on Tuesday between 7pm and 9pm at Hargrave Road, Archway.

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