Press Release

07 May 2014

On Thursday 29 May 2014 at 6.30pm over 200 singers from the Folkestone area will come together to stage a one-off performance at the Leas Cliff Hall as The Futures Choir.

The event will be captured on film and exhibited as an artwork at Folkestone Triennial 2014, from 30 August – 2 November 2014, to highlight the positive effects of singing on health and wellbeing.

Folkestone Triennial 2014
Folkestone Triennial 2014

Singers will perform Lookout, a piece of music composed by internationally renowned performer and composer John Harle, who is also Senior Lecturer in Music and Performing Arts at Canterbury Christ Church University. The Mind and Soul Choir from South London will also join The Futures Choir for the performance. This world premiere will be captured on film by leading documentary filmmaker Luke Menges, who will produce a video installation for Folkestone Triennial.

The Creative Foundation asked The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at  Canterbury Christ Church University to collaborate on the production of a piece of music that illustrates the positive impact that community singing can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The idea for this coming together of choirs was originally conceived by two Finnish artists and called Valituskuoro choirs, translated in English to the Chorus of Complaints. It is a model that has been replicated across the world with the aim of converting the energy people use for complaining into something positive and powerful.

Matthew Shipton, Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “The Sidney De Haan Centre was delighted to be approached by the Creative Foundation for this really exciting and innovative initiative that resonates so well with our belief that bringing people together to sing changes people's lives for the better.

“We have been building the evidence base to demonstrate this for the past nine years, and as the centre runs a number of community choirs for people with specific health problems, Folkestone Triennial will be a great opportunity for the centre to exhibit its work, and to contribute to the success of this unique arts festival.”

Folkestone Triennial takes place every three years and is one of the five key projects of the Creative Foundation, an independent visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity.

Lewis Biggs, Curator of Folkestone Triennial 2014, said "Canterbury Christ Church University responded with generous enthusiasm to the opportunity presented by this year's Triennial, and it has been an enormous pleasure to watch the talent of John Harle and Tom Pickard developing an extraordinary new work with the choral communities of Folkestone."

Tickets for The Futures Choir performance can be purchased from, by calling 0844 8713015 or from the venue. *Tickets are priced at £5 plus booking fee where applicable.

For more information about The Futures Choir please email Matthew Shipton at

For more information about Folkestone Triennial 2014 visit the website

Notes to Editor

Folkestone Triennial

Folkestone Triennial is one of the most ambitious exhibitions of contemporary art outside the gallery context presented in the UK. It takes place in the seaside town of Folkestone, the coast of England nearest to continental Europe. Artists of international standing are invited to use the town as their ‘canvas’, utilising public spaces to create striking new art that reflects issues affecting both the town and the wider world.  Artists commissioned to take part in previous triennials include Cornelia Parker, Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, Martin Creed and Richard Wilson.

Inaugurated in 2008, the Triennial takes place every three years and is one of the 5 key projects of the Creative Foundation. A second project is Folkestone Artworks, the collection of permanent artworks resulting from previous Triennial commissions.

Creative Foundation

The Creative Foundation is an independent visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders, the Creative Foundation is transforming the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study. Established in 2002 the Creative Foundation has a remarkable record of success having already transformed the old town of Folkestone, around the scenic harbour, into a Creative Quarter populated by artists and home to creative industries and a university outpost. Three hundred jobs have been created and ninety buildings have been restored in the Creative Quarter and the Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy has been built. The area has been animated by two internationally acclaimed visual art Triennials; Folkestone Artworks is a significant and permanent contemporary art collection, a full performance programme and an annual Book Festival.

Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health

The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University is internationally recognised for its commitment to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities.

The Centre continues its research on singing for the wellbeing and health of older people, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients and people with enduring health problems.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 94% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Press Contacts:

Holly Finch

Assistant Media Relations Officer

Canterbury Christ Church University

01227 783528

For Folkestone Triennial:

Sam Talbot | Sutton PR | +44 (0)20 7183 3577

Olivia Cerio | Sutton PR                 | +44 (0)20 7183 3577 



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00