In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Voice Assembly hosted an afternoon tea, on Thursday 9th of March, in Salford. Voice Assembly is a nonprofit community organisation that aims to bring people and their voices together.
Members of the community, choirs, and audiences of past concerts gathered at the International Women’s Day tea party to see multiple performances.
“We assemble voices to be uplifting and life-changing, so we use music to help people to find joy… So if you need something therapeutic, the music is kind of a journey you can come on,” said Tyndale Thomas.
Tyndale and Kadria Thomas, both choir directors, began Voice Assembly in 2014, alongside the organization’s secretary Louise Kay, in hopes to provide people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, ages a platform to be themselves and raise awareness of different issues through performing arts.
One of the performers at the tea party was Maryam Shakiba, an Indian dancer. She performed two pieces, one being an Odissi classical Indian dance.
“What better day to bring people together than International Women’s day, or even week?” said Louise Kay.
Much like Voice Assembly’s goal, their afternoon tea gave a reason for people, especially women, in this case, to come together over the common passion for music and the performing arts. Likewise, Voice Assembly also works toward joining different cultures and cultural influences in performing.
Kadria Thomas said: “There are women pushing through psychological problems, women pushing through abuse, women nurturing young children and young adults…With programs and events like this, we want to bring people together. It’s just an acknowledgment to them that you don’t have to be Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou or Amelia Earhart, but you are still worth that value of who you are.”
Younger than the other performers, 16-year-old Leonie Kay performed a written piece about her thoughts on body image and eating disorders directed towards women.
Tyndale Thomas said: “Lots of people have the need to go into choir music because of music for health…Voice Assembly is there to help people find their voice.”
Voice Assembly host yearly singing workshops for adults and children in the Northwest regions of England, including Salford and Manchester.
“Our ethos is to bring voices together, whether that be from different faiths, different cultures, different places, different parts of the world. That’s what we do,” Louise Kay said.
Anyone can take part in the Voice Assembly workshops or get involved with their mission.