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Quaker Musicians in the British Isles & Europe

Tony Biggin is a musician and prolific composer. He is composer of two major choral works that have been performed at a number of Quaker gatherings in the UK and US. "The Gates of Greenham" on the women's peace encampment at Greenham Common was performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1985.  "The Fire and the Hammer" on the life & work of George Fox was performed at New England YM in 2011 and FGC Gathering in 2012. He is the director of the East Sussex Music Service.  See Tony's website: tonybiggin.com

The Leaveners (to quote from their website) "is the Quaker Performing Arts Organisation for the Religious Society of Friends in Britain. It was formed by a group of enthusiastic Friends, involved in the arts, who wanted to use their experience of the creative arts as a way of expressing their Quaker faith and values" - and has been doing so wonderfully since 1978! Their projects include Quaker youth theater, writing and performing Quaker cantatas, publishing songbooks and a drama project designed to integrate deaf and hearing young people. You can contact them at leaveners.org

John Sheldon of Warwick (England) Meeting is a classically trained musician and choral leader who has been encouraging spirit-led group singing among British Friends for many years. He was the editor of the 1981 Quaker Song Book and the 2005 Sing in the Spirit: A Book of Quaker Songs. (You can order this collection from Quaker Books.) He has led choral workshops at FGC Annual Gatherings. He's directing a performance of The Fire & the Hammer (based on the life of George Fox) at the 2011 annual sessions of New England YM. You can contact him at John's email.

Donald Swann (1923-1994) became a Quaker in England during World War II. He was a conscientious objector and served with the Friends Ambulance Unit in Egypt, Palestine and Greece. He joined forces with Michael Flanders to form the popular musical duo, Flanders & Swann, best known for their albums, "At the Drop of a Hat" and "At the Drop of Another Hat". Donald also wrote a number of sacred works and came to Pendle Hill several times as artist in residence. His website at donaldswann.co.uk has detailed information on his published music, recordings & life.


Fri, April 25 - Putney VT.  7:30pm Singalong Concert at Next Stage at 15 Kimball Hill Rd, celebrating the life & work of Pete Seeger.  Sponsored by Putney Friends Meeting. For more information contact: Susan Slowinski.

Sun, April 27 - New York NY.
  Abraham Lincoln Brigade 78th Annual Celebration. New School Auditorium, 66 W. 12th Street, 2:30-4:30pm.  This year's event will be celebrating Pete Seeger who was a strong supporter of the ALB. Matt Emmer & David Bernz (of "Work o' the Weavers) will join us in leading Spanish Civil War songs. For more info go to ALBA website.

Sun, May 11 - Amherst MA.  Showing of "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" at Amherst Cinema, 7pm. We will introduce the showing with several favorite Seeger songs.  

See also website for 2 swing bands Annie sings with: 


Shared Song Communal Memory NY Times article that talks about Annie & Peter, the origins of Rise Up Singing & ways it's being used in singalong around the country.

WFCR interview with Peter and Annie. Hear us talk about sing-alongs and the origins of Rise Up Singing with live performances of several favorite songs

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