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Emily Renshaw-Kidd takes up the reins as Artistic Director of Canterbury Cantata Trust

Following over 10 years as founder and Artistic Director of Canterbury Cantata Trust, Professor Grenville Hancox MBE has handed over the role to his successor Emily Renshaw-Kidd. Grenville has been a long-time mentor, inspiration and friend to Emily through her music degrees at Canterbury Christ Church University and their numerous musical partnerships; they share the same passion for and ethos of “caring through singing”. Following a handover period, Emily is now working as Artistic Director for the charity and will begin to undertake the tasks that this role presents, acting as a principal singing ambassador for the charity. We thank Grenville for his huge dedication to the advancement of music for wellbeing and the trust is delighted that he has accepted the position of Honorary President of Canterbury Cantata Trust.

Emily in action at the tenth anniversary celebrations
Emily in action at the tenth anniversary celebrations
Emily Renshaw-Kidd
Emily Renshaw-Kidd

Emily said: “I am extremely honoured and excited to become the new Artistic Director for Canterbury Cantata Trust. My present involvement with the trust as Musical Director of the Canterbury Cantata Choir and lead facilitator for Canterbury Skylarks' Sing to Beat Parkinson’s group gives me a deep understanding and admiration for the trust, whilst giving me plenty of ideas for building and developing relationships and projects in the future. My involvement in several other local singing groups and my role as Director of Music at Langton Boys’, will enable us to create even more new opportunities for bringing the community together in a caring way, through singing and music. The Langton’s involvement and participation in the Skylarks sessions is a most unique and exciting partnership; not only is it helping to build an understanding of the benefits of music on conditions such as Parkinson's in our 'leaders of tomorrow', but it also bridges generation gaps, whilst encouraging an altruistic outlook as well. It is our hope that future students will work together with members of Skylarks to create a recognised methodology for Singing with Parkinson's and encourage other people far and wide to become facilitators and recognise the benefits of music on many health conditions"

The launch of the Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy in Canterbury was a great success, receiving excellent coverage and the Skylarks singing session, led by Emily, was mentioned by Mark Mardell, a member of the podcast group, 'Movers and Shakers', alongside Jeremy Paxman, Rory Cellan-Jones and others. We look forward to the coming together of all the trust's singing groups, building many more musical friendships and exciting projects.

Mark Mardell @MarkIMardell
Former BBC R4 presenter, North America Editor, Europe Editor, Chief Political correspondent. Now Ronin, freelance writer and broadcaster. 2,737 following 37.7K Followers
“The all singing, all dancing centre is now launched! Ever since I first heard about it I thought the Parkinson Centre for integrative therapy in Canterbury was a good idea. But visiting it in person convinced me it is a brilliant one”

Folk and Fervour

A delightful collection of folk songs with a jazzy treatment by the jazz pianist George Shearing, set to words by Shakespeare, form the core of the programme. In addition, a choral setting by John Rutter of a suite of folk songs in "A Sprig of Thyme" with a sparkling piano accompaniment features traditional songs of the British Isles, drawing together long-standing favourites such as 'Willow Song' and 'The Miller of Dee' with lesser known gems as 'O Can Ye Sew Cushions' and 'The Sprig of Thyme'.

Works by female composers, Sarah MacDonald and Anna Semple are also being introduced as Cantata Choir feature sacred music by women composers.

Local pianist Helen Crayford provides the stunning , rhythmic accompaniment and the small , auditioned chamber choir of Canterbury Cantata Trust is conducted by Emily Renshaw-Kidd, local soloist and head of music at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys.

The trust has at its heart the ambition to provide "Caring through Singing" and offers many opportunities for singers to participate in groups run by the charity from those with Parkinson's and other conditions such as Long Covid. Recently celebrating its tenth anniversary as a charity, it is now collaborating with a centre for integrated therapies in Canterbury to offer singing there, the first in the country to offer many therapies all under one roof.

Tickets will be available on the door or through the link below.

Get Your Tickets Now

Event date: Saturday, 10 June 2023 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Ticket Prices: Adult £10, students £5

Folk and Fervour | Canterbury Cantata Trust

The Launch of the groundbreaking new Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy

Sing to Beat’s flagship Parkinson’s group, Canterbury Skylarks, were delighted to participate in the launch of the groundbreaking new Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy on World Parkinson’s Day. Based in the Kent MS Therapy Centre at the University of Kent, the new Centre will provide a range of evidence-based non-pharmacological treatments and wellness resources, so that multiple Parkinson’s symptoms can be managed all under one roof. In addition to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, mental health support and speech and language therapy, the centre also offers wrap-around support including group singing, nutritional guidance, massage and ground-breaking neurostimulation techniques.

From April 25th, Canterbury Skylarks will relocate to the centre, which is located very close to Simon Langton School for Boys. This will enable Skylarks to continue under the wonderful stewardship of Emily Renshaw-Kidd and sixth-form students from the school, as well as opening up the potential for participation, observation and research from University of Kent students.

Dear friends of Canterbury Cantata Trust,
We held the AGM on the 25th February at St. Paul's church with all trustees present and Grenville, Matt Shipton and Emily Renshaw-Kidd also. I presented the Chair's report and information on the sponsors and donations during 2022 as detailed in the newsletter.
There was a very low turnout but we were extremely pleased to be able to present the annotated accounts summary, prepared by Joanna Heath, and to announce that the position of Artistic Director will be passed to Emily Renshaw-Kidd, now that Grenville is standing down after his establishment of the trust and ten year guardianship of the position. We all believe that this offers wonderful continuity for the Trust due to the long established musical relationship between Grenville and Emily, and over the next few months they will work together to ensure a smooth handover. Emily is already truly embedded in the Trust, running both Skylarks Canterbury and Cantata, fully exemplifying the ethos of the Trust. The liaison between SImon Langton School for boys and the new PCFIT (Parkinson's Centre for Integrated Therapies) centre nearby will soon be cemented, offering further opportunities to extend the reach of the "Sing to Beat" programme to those with MS who use the centre.
Thanks as ever were given to all the facilitators, accompanists, trustees and volunteers who keep the wheels of the Trust turning to ensure singers can continue improving their wellbeing.
The accounts summary and newsletter will soon be uploaded to the CCT website to accompany the full accounts that are already there in the governance section.
Wishing you all a healthy spring and the rest of 2023,
Roshna Ahmad.

Canterbury Cantata Trust

Canterbury Cantata Trust Registered in England and Wales
Company No. 8293466 (Limited by Guarantee)
Registered Charity No. 1163197.

Registered Office:
April Cottage, Cherville Lane,
Bramling, Canterbury,
Kent. CT3 1LZ