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I Sing Of Islington

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Type For In Time Topics Dates Available to Ages Booking
INSET Teachers EPOC 2hrs Singing
Local History
Lyric Writing
May-July 2011 Islington
Workshops Class-sized groups Schools 4x2hrs
Performance Class-sized groups+parents Union Chapel Islington 1 day


A music, singing and composition project that is:

  • about Islington;
  • for Islington schools and children; and
  • will take place in the Summer Term (May-July) of 2011.

For the last two years, EPOC has worked with selected Islington schools to put on a celebratory, showcase choral concert of children’s compositions at Islington’s Union Chapel. The concerts have been very successful and there is a demand from the schools to repeat the experience in summer of 2011. Thus far, the project has centred round children writing words and music for songs that have then been performed by them and then distributed to other participating schools.

Islington's Union Chapel


For summer 2011, we would like to extend the above idea by:

  • offering the project to 10 Islington schools;
  • providing schools with an ongoing cross curricular resource
  • increasing the amount of workshop time with each school;
  • doing two performances instead of one;
  • helping children to write songs specifically about Islington;
  • recording the newly-composed songs as a CD souvenir of the project;
  • printing an I sing of Islington song book; and
  • creating, with the 10 new songs, an Islington school ‘song bank’ resource  on the EPOC website available to all Islington schools.

Project Outline

In four ‘steps’ class-sized groups prepared to perform (on stage with professional opera singers and musicians) at the Union Chapel.

Step 1.
INSET : May 2011

Twilight INSET session for teachers, packed with ideas for the project, sing-a-long songs, resource packs, class activities, Islington ideas, cross-curricular resources and Karaoke.

Step 2.
Performance Workshops: School. May- June 2011

Using EPOC resources, schools work alone to explore Islington stories and ideas for song lyrics and any other material they might like to include (written work, artwork etc) as part of the project. 

Step 3.
Performance Workshops: School. June – July 2011

EPOC workshop leaders come into school to work with up to 2 classes of children. Sessions last up to 2 hours long.

Session 1  
Workshop Leaders: Poet and Singer

An EPOC poet/lyric writer comes into school to facilitate children’s writing of lyrics. A singer comes into school to do general singing and teach songs that all schools will sing.

Session 2
Workshop Leaders: Composer and Singer

Using written materials created by the class and the poet/lyricist, an EPOC composer comes into school to start setting the text to music. Having an EPOC singing workshop also in the school allows for other vocal work to be taking place at the same time.

Session 3  
Workshop Leaders: Composer and Singer

With the first musical ideas committed to paper the composer and singer return to continue working on the classes’ song/s. They will also re-rehearse the songs that all schools learn.

Session 4  
Workshop Leaders: Composer and Singer

With the score of the classes’ songs now finished, this session is designed to put the finishing touches to classes’ performances: how to stand; how to put their song across; how to enhance their performance with movement and basis choreography etc. To conclude the session a performance to peers is recommended.

Step 4.
Performance: Union Chapel. July 2011

Dress Rehearsal and Performances of I Sing of Islington at the Union Chapel. The day includes dress rehearsal with cast, crew and musicians, with Islington songs and sing-a-long choruses.


Time Activity Notes
10.30am Get-in and set up Band et up, sound checks, lighting, stage set up etc
11.00am Musician's rehearsal Band rehearsal, Organist, Professional Singers
1.00pm Lunch .
2.00pm Schools' Rehearsal Schools arrive
5.00pm Rehearsal end Break. Schools eat Packed Teas that they have brought with them in chapel
6.00pm Concert Concert
7.30pm Concert Fnish .
Step 5.
Evaluation and feedback

EPOC follows the recommendations contained in ‘Partners for Learning - a guide to evaluating arts education projects’ by Felicity Woolf for the Regional Arts Boards and the Arts Council of England.

We like to be able to show that our projects are a good way of learning, how people benefited from the project and that our funding has been well used. Teachers and pupils will be asked to complete questionnaires before and after the project and the results recorded, analysed and recommendations made for future projects. We will record the outcomes by the following means:

  • website – notated versions of participants musical material as piano/vocals and karaoke versions, recordings;
  • scores of the Islington songs in the I Sing of Islington Songbook
  • videos and photos of workshops; and
  • diaries completed by any of the project participants/leaders (see below).
Step 6.
Publication of I Sing of Islington

The creation of an Islington school ‘song bank’ resource on the EPOC website available to all Islington schools. The resource will include the 12 new songs, an Islington school ‘song bank’ resource on the EPOC website available to all Islington schools. It will include downloadable MP3 recordings of songs in both performance and ‘karaoke’ format together with supporting scores and notes. The resources will also be made available to schools in hard-copy format.


Islington schools that have participated in the project include:

  • Ashmount Community Primary School
  • Canonbury Community Primary School
  • Drayton Park Community Primary School
  • New North Community Primary School
  • Newington Green Primary School
  • Pooles Park Primary School
  • St John The Evangelist RC Primary School
  • Winton Primary School

Previous Islington Projects featured:

  • children’s choirs from the above Islington primary schools;
  • staff (including a staff orchestra); and
  • parents (who came to the concerts and sang along).

Music and performers in previous programmes included:

  • Sing-a-long Songs;
  • 4 newly commissioned songs with words and tunes by children (see below);
  • Hallelujah chorus (like never before!)
  • The impressive sounds of the Union Chapel Harrison Organ,
  • Pete Letanka Trio
  • Maamulaha Music Teachers Orchestra
  • opera singers
  • Pooles Park Community Choir
  • Woodberry Down Community Choir

Appendix 1

The following page contains the first lines of the four Christmas songs written by Islington school children.

Appendix 2

Union Chapel

Address:     Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Upper Street, Islington.


The nearest tube (Victoria line) is Highbury and Islington.
The nearest train is at Highbury and Islington
The nearest bus routes are: 4 19 30 43 271 277 279
The ground floor of the building is wheelchair friendly


Designed by James Cubbitt and built in 1877.
Disabled accessible and disabled toilet facilities.


Currently 750/800 capacity for music events. Fixed Seating on wooden pews. Audiences seated in all the downstairs pews and upstairs in the central section only – not in the side galleries – although we can perform from there.

Stage area

Stage 8.6m x 5.9m + we also have extra 8, 8 x 4 sections which are also available to add to the existing stage as required. Pulpit at 2 x 2m in the middle of the stage.


Single yellow line and residential only in the immediate vicinity. No dedicated parking spaces.


For more information including prices please call Mark or Aneta at the office 020 7281 4015 or write to us at