For a year or two we have had a very small group of people who have formed the Buddhist Centre choir under Vipulakirti’s leadership. We sing arrangements of Dharmic words in four-part harmonies beautifully composed and arranged by Vipulakirti and other composers in Triratna. We also sing arrangements of mantras, sometimes folk songs and classical arrangements. This choir has sung at various events, inside and outside the Buddhist Centre, the most recent of which was the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery at Buddha Day (pictured – thanks to Sarvapala).
Recently we have tried opening out the choir to include more voices. Anyone who wants to try harmony singing can come whether or not they have any experience of it or can read music. Between 6.30 and 7.30pm we learn mantras and songs by ear and also learn the basics of reading music, which helps in learning more complex pieces eventually. Choir evenings have been open for a couple of months now. It’s going really well and there are lots of men’s voices, which is a bit unusual for a mixed community choir. It sounds amazing! But we could do with more women’s voices too.
The choir meets on Friday evenings, usually in the main Shrine Room every two weeks. The next dates are 22 June, 6 July and 20th July. We meet at 6.30 and for an hour I teach songs and mantra arrangements by ear and Vipulakirti teaches us some music theory. From 7.30 – 8.30pm more experienced singers learn more complex arrangements. If you want to know more, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org .