Red Leicester Choir

Red Leicester is Leicester’s socialist choir singing songs expressive of social and political protest, and songs of worldwide celebration, struggle and change. To find out more about us, including when and where we meet and how to join us, please click here.

To read more news about what we are up to and recent events in which we have been involved, just scroll through the stories and pictures below.

News and Events

Red Leicester sang at the opening of the Journey to Justice Exhibition at the Attenborough Arts Centre on Friday 11th October. This free event celebrates the US civil rights movement, its significance, and its links to the UK and tells the stories of some of Leicester’s own protestors and radicals who contributed to the long and vibrant history of social activism and protest in the city. Red Leicester’s set included: Harriet Tubman, We Shall Overcome, The Dirty Thirty, Nana Was A Suffragette and the Internationale.

Two members of Red Leicester have been involved in the XR Peace Roadblock in London this week. Despite the hostile press coverage depicting such protestors as crusties and luvvies, they have a strong message which Red Leicester supports and endorses in many of the songs that we sing. So, three cheers for Cee and Mel – and all the other people putting themselves on the line in London and in other cities across the world this week – we respect your commitment and are humbled by the bravery of your actions! See pictures below.

We now have a video of Red Leicester’s concert performance at the recent Street Choirs Festival in Manchester singing Lives in the Balance and PET: Plastic Bottles. Click here to view the video.

Hundreds of people congregated in Leicester city centre and marched from the Clock Tower to Jubilee Square on Friday 20th September to support the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike. For the first time, older people were invited to participate alongside school and college students, the initiators and organisers of the action, and Red Leicester members were there in force. Get a flavour of the event through the pictures below.

People assembling at the Clock Tower in Leicester City centre.
The Red Leicester banner at the Clock Tower…
… and later in Jubilee Square.
The marchers assembled in Jubilee Square listening to speeches.
This placard sadly sums it all up.

On Wednesday 11th September, Red Leicester sang the Internationale for a film being made by Ady Pole, a University of Leicester History student. The subjects of the film are Roy Watts and Fred Sykes, two Leicester men who fought and died with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39. Ady’s film is a contribution to the Journey to Justice Exhibition which will be held in Leicester next month. As you can see below, the choir was happy to oblige with their customary enthusiasm!

Red Leicester raised £100 for the Red Cross Hurricane Dorian Bahamas Appeal at their regular busk in Market Street on Saturday 7th September. Many thanks to those good Leicester people who stopped to listen and contribute!

Red Leicester are back rehearsing again after the summer break in the Secular Hall on Humberstone Gate (opposite Sainsburys). If you fancy the idea of singing with a socialist choir and making your voice heard on the streets (and, let’s face it, there’s a lot to sing about at the moment!), why not come along to one of our weekly rehearsals (every Wednesday at 7.30 pm in the Secular Hall) and try us out?

The annual Street Choirs Festival in Manchester from 12th to 14th July saw Red Leicester performing to a different audience over the weekend. The choir busked at three very different locations around Manchester city centre and also participated in the Massed Sing in Cathedral Gardens with nearly 1000 other singers from across the UK. Below are a few pictures from the event.

The Massed Sing in Cathedral Gardens
Massed Sing SCF 2019
Busking in Victoria station
RL busking in station SCF 2019
Busking outside the Central Library
RL busking at library SCF 2019
Altos and sopranos taking a breather!
RL Altos and Sops SCF 2019

Click on the following recordings of the Massed Sing (amateur and a bit shaky!):

Sing John Ball

We Need Each Other Now

We Shall Not Give Up the Fight

Red Leicester opened the Secular Society’s Peterloo commemoration event (The Carliles and Peterloo) on Sunday 7th July at 6.30 pm in the Secular Hall. The programme consisted of William Morris, Sing John Ball and Nana Was a Suffragette. The audience then joined the choir in singing a rousing and popular 19th century song celebrating the significance of Peterloo.

Peterloo SS1 07.07.19

Red Leicester raised £100 for After 18 (a charity for unaccompanied young asylum seekers in Leicester supporting them in their transition to adulthood) at the usual monthly busk in Market Street on Saturday 6th July.

Busking4 07.07.19

One passer-by was so enthused by our singing that he asked us to perform Shona Malanga to customers in his hairdressing salon – a first for Red Leicester (you can see us reflected in the mirror in the photo below)!

BuskingHairdressers 07.07.19

Red Leicester have been out singing again recently, firstly on Wednesday 15th May at the International Conscientious Objectors’ Day event on Peace Walk. The three chosen songs were: Lay It Down, Deep Blue Sea and Song of Peace. This was followed by the regular busk in Market Street on Saturday 1st June raising £66 for Water Aid

Busking 01.06.19

… and Leicester Sing for Water at the Riverside Festival in Bede Park on Sunday 2nd June where the choir sang Citizens’ Shanty (a video of which you can see here).

SingForWater19 006

Red Leicester were in fine voice on Saturday 4th May, firstly on their regular monthly busk, this time raising £37 for Extinction Rebellion

Busking5 04.05.19

… and, secondly, supporting and joining many others on the annual Leicester May Day March across the city …

May Day6 04.05.19

… where we heard an inspiring and eloquent speech by Imran from Climate Strike Leicester protesting against climate change inertia.

May Day7 04.05.19

As in previous years, Red Leicester sang at International Workers’ Memorial Day on Sunday 28th April in Town Hall Square. This annual event commemorates all the workers who died whilst at work in the previous year. Red Leicester sang The Whole Wide World Around and Unison in Harmony in their honour.

IWM Day 28.04.19

Red Leicester performed at the annual Community Choirs Festival in Stratford on Sunday 14th April giving a first outing to a new song in our repertoire, PET (Plastic Bottle song) by Coope, Boyes and Simpson (see below).

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