Express Yourself

Make your voice heard in one of the UK’s fiercely feminist choirs

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published

Meet the feminist choirs in London and around the UK that deserve your attention.

For many people, the idea of being asked to get up and sing to a room full of people they don’t know (or even people they do know) is, to put it lightly, bloody terrifying. However, there’s a lot to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone, especially when it comes to singing. Indeed, the BBC reports that not only does singing aloud boost your mood, get more oxygen into your blood and have a positive effect on your mental health, there are scientifically proven benefits to joining a choir specifically. 

It turns out performing in a group sets off all sorts of happy hormones in our brains, giving us a rush of endorphins (the body’s feel-good chemicals) and oxytocin (the feeling we get from bonding and trust). This not only makes the singing part of a choir good for your mental health, but the social aspect is invaluable for our confidence and happiness levels, too - feelings which are, of course, amplified when spending time with a group of like-minded people. 

These choirs are not only spaces for self-expression and a place to practice your singing, but each one holds feminism at its core, which is exercised in the songs they sing, the discussions they have and the people that attend. 

So, whether you’re a budding soprano already or looking for a way to leave your comfort zone behind, these feminist choirs are all worth a look, whether it be to watch from the crowd (many of them tour), purchase their work or inquire about their next wave of entries. 

F* Choir 

Where: London Bridge, London
How much: £5 
How often: Every second Monday 
Why join: This group doesn’t discriminate by or assume gender, origin or sexuality: everybody is welcome as long as they’re willing to practise intersectional feminism. There’s no pressure to perform, if crowds aren’t your thing you won’t be expected to sing in front of others and you get to dissect each song before you sing it, introducing a debate element into the mix. 

Check them out. 

Deep Throat Choir 

Where: East London
How much: Free
How often: Once a week
Why join: This group started in 2013 as just five people and there’s now over 30 of them who tour Europe to perform. Together they’ve released two albums, all written by the members of the choir themselves, and they host their own events and gigs. This is a choir you should definitely check out, but right now it’ll have to be more as an admirer than a member as sadly they’re not currently welcoming anyone new. 

Check them out here. 

SHE Choir 

Where: London, Newcastle, Manchester
How much: Free
How often: Once a week
Why join: SHE Choir doesn’t hold auditions to become a member, so dedicated they are to ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to be part of their movement. So it goes without saying that this a wonderfully inclusive place to be. They also have lots of fun singing songs from all different genres and eras, and encourage everyone to get involved in experimenting with the arrangement. 

Check them out here. 

Lips

Where: Angel, London
How much: Depends on salary 
How often: Once a week
Why join: Lips has a particular focus on intersectional feminism, enthusiastically welcoming all those who self-identify as female, trans and gender non-conforming from a diverse range of countries, communities and backgrounds. The group are also adamant that their shows should be a safe space for all to come together and are a wonderful place to meet new people. 

Check them out here. 

For one day only on Thursday 20 September, Gemma Cairney has taken over stylist.co.uk and transformed it into her very own Express Yourself platform – a digital initiative which aims to inspire us, challenge us and encourage us to explore our creative sides.

For similarly inspiring content, check out Stylist’s September Shake Up initiative here.

Images: Deep Throat Choir