Funding helps Lincoln community launch music project

Music lovers on the Ermine estate in Lincoln are celebrating the launch of a new community music project after gaining £27,000 of funding.

The two-year project, Ermine Music, aims to bring the community together and realise the benefits of singing in a choir.

Guided by Father Stephen Hoy and Artistic Director Tori Longdon, Ermine Music will bring singing projects to the community by enlisting the help of the best workshop leaders in the UK across 2014 and 2015.

The funding from the Tudor Trust will see the outreach project expand from the community choir Ermine Voices, which has recently celebrated its 1-year anniversary.

Throughout the year, Ermine Voices have entertained audiences from the Lincoln Christmas Market to the Waterside Shopping Centre.

To mark the choir’s first Birthday, and officially launching the new project, Ermine Music, members, guests and partners enjoyed a performance at St. John the Baptist Parish Church Hall on February 11.

The Ermine Voice Choir were joined by the local Brownies and Guides who also sang a collection of songs.

Ermine Community groups also attending and supporting the project were Kids creche sessions.

Fatherr Stephen Hoy from St John’s Vicarage said: “It’s been a very successful year for Ermine Voices. They are an incredible bunch of people.

“They did not have to come and audition, they just come because they fancy giving it a go.

“Ermine Music is the most significant development on the Ermine Estate for years. Building on the outstanding success of the Ermine Voices project, Ermine Music will truly give a real voice to the Ermine estate and its residents.”

Artistic Director, Tori Longdon, added: “The future is very bright. Over the next few years we are really taking the brief of getting the estate singing even further.

“Whether it’s in the police force, in schools, in the dinner ladies, people need to be encouraging each other to sign up.”

Jim (63) is an active member of Ermine Voices. He said: “After my wife died I was rudderless and sinking into depression, becoming more and more of a recluse.

“Luckily, one of the children happened to bring home a flyer about the choir and I have attended since the second practice – I’m thoroughly enjoying myself and meeting new people.”

Anyone wishing to get involved can do so by contacting erminevoices@gmail.com, or visiting the website, Erminevoices.co.uk.

Rehearsals are Fridays at 6pm until 7.30pm at St John the Baptist Parish Church.