Choir takes on violence with song

The Parkwood Community Singers choir at one of their practice sessions.

Members of a community choir in Parkwood are hoping to break the cycle of violence and gangsterism through song and music.

Parkwood Community Singers started five months ago with the aim of reconnecting youngsters to music.

John Bean, one of the founders, said music is the perfect way to reconnect people.

“Music is a form of therapy and it’s a language that everybody understands and it is therapeutic. If you look at the state of many of our young people there is a need for intervention and we decided to do so with music,” he said.

Mr Bean added: “Music can change you, your situation and music can take you all over the world. That is the vision, hope and dream for this group. I’ve travelled, seen other countries and so have many other people because of music.”

The community choir has two groups – one for children and one for young adults between 18 and 35. Both groups practice on Tuesdays – the children from 5pm at Hyde Park Primary School and the young adults from 7pm to 8pm at the Church of Nazarene in Acacia Road, Parkwood.

The children’s group will also be working and performing with the Hyde Park Primary School music group. Parkwood Community Singers currently has 50 members.

Nadine Akim, a member of the singing group, said the choir is like a family.

“We see the need in the community. Children are looking for positive outlets and role-models. With all the gang violence our children are exposed to killings in broad daylight. We become like a family and create a safe space for them as well as opportunities to perform and show off their raw talent,” she said.

Future plans for the group include recording an album.

Mr Bean said: “We want to show that there is talent in Parkwood. We also plan on creating more community projects and to connect with other communities to branch out and to help start other singing groups.”

All soloists, rappers, choirs, bands and other aspiring musicians from all areas are welcome to join.

To find out more about the choir, call 063 140 5513.

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