The project includes the recent launch of AMP Voices offering the opportunity for primary school-aged children (5-11) in the local community to sing together and socialise.
Meeting at the church after school on Tuesdays (3.30-4.30pm), AMP Voices is entirely free of charge and no previous singing experience is required.
The initiative aims to musically inspire children and show them the joy music can bring, whether it’s listening to or playing music, singing or creating rhythms.
AMP Voices is led by Youth Music grant-funded music outreach worker Judith Williams, who said: “We wake up our ears, our bodies, our voices, play some rhythm games and team games, learn and perform songs. There’s always a break too for a drink and biscuit and a chance to get to know each other.”
AMP Voices fills a previous gap in musical opportunities for children in the area and Judith goes on to say she hopes to “create a community choir made up of students from various schools in the area”.
Long-term, the musical outreach aims to be inclusive, exploring ways to support preschool, older generations and those with specific individual needs. To find out more please email AMP Voices.
The wider work of AMP involves the reordering of church buildings to provide a purpose-built music centre. Creating this flexible space will offer an ideal venue for community events including concerts and recitals.
The rebuilding of the 100 year-old church pipe organ is also in the plan. This critical attention will provide the well-used organ with a new lease of life and hopefully 100 further years of spectacular sound. Enormous efforts are underway to raise funds for this project, with last summer’s hymn marathon raising just over £10,000 towards the cause.
As the fundraising continues, 2023 is already packed with musical entertainment. Starting in May, the concert series at St Mary’s promises an exciting and varied programme.
Dr Ben Miller, Director of Music at St Mary’s, said: “The programme includes early music concerts, recitals by pianists, organists and singers, concerts by barbershop choirs and a brass band. This is our biggest programme of summer concerts to date, with something for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming you to St Mary’s!”
Among the many highlights of the 2023 summer concert calendar are:
- The Cavick Quartet – Saturday 3 June – A string performance of chamber music by Norfolk’s leading string players
- Jill Crossland Piano – Sunday 13 August – Jill began playing piano at the age of four and has performed extensively throughout the UK and Europe. She featured in the Classic FM Hall of Fame in 2005
- Norwich Baroque – Saturday 16 September – A flexible ensemble that plays music of the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments. The group has a special love for pairing international favourites like Bach, Handel and Vivaldi with lesser-known creative voices from the past – especially those with a local connection, like John Playford.