Case Study: Emma Higgs, North Prospect Community Choir

Emma Higgs, North Prospect Community Choir


"North Prospect Community Choir enables me to bring together my passion for music and singing with my love of bringing people together - particularly those who might otherwise find themselves excluded or marginalised."

North Prospect Community Choir meet to rehearse every Monday evening during term-time at Mayflower Community Academy, and put on a concert at the end of each term. We sing a lot of fun, accessible music, and are focussed on enjoyment, community cohesion and inclusion.

At the heart of what we do is a desire to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. Our members have included people as young as 12 and as old as 99, and there is always a good mix of age, gender, social background and musical experience. Considering most of our members have very little singing experience and cannot read music, we have achieved a phenomenal amount since we launched in November 2016. We regularly sing in three-part harmony and have performed some very challenging music to a respectable standard!

I moved into North Prospect in 2013, and soon became aware of the area’s history and its regeneration. The idea for a North Prospect Community Choir began to take shape as a way of bringing people together. It was also the right time for me; I’m a Secondary School music teacher who is currently a full-time mum with two small children and I felt this was something I wanted to do, and could do, while not working five-days-a-week in a school.

It enables me to bring together my passion for music and singing with my love of bringing people together - particularly those who might otherwise find themselves excluded or marginalised. 

After extensive research and planning, I set a date for the launch at The Beacon community centre in November 2016 and advertised everywhere I could. At the same time, I planned the North Prospect Christmas Festival to take place six weeks after the launch, as a debut performance opportunity for the choir. It was a great success with about 30 people taking part and singing together.

The choir began with an initial grant from Vital Sparks but we are now self-funding through member subs and profits from concerts. Having said that, long-term financial support would go a long way to improving the ways in which we can enrich our community and provide opportunities for vulnerable and lonely people to be part of something incredible. 

The choir is absolutely thriving: we are still attracting new members and each week have between 20 and 35 members. We are discussing plans for a big project for Mayflower 2020. The sky's the limit, really!