My name is Adel. I joined the Choir With No Name in Spring 2008 and will be an advocate for them till the day I die.
Drugs had been my crutch since I was 15 years old - it was how I coped with all the stuff in my life that I couldn’t handle. It was nearing the end of a substance misuse program I was on that I happened to have a conversation with a good man who worked for a charity. He said I should try something new in my life, do something positive with my time. He asked me what I wanted to do next and I didn’t know. All I knew was the same thing day after day, night after night – and the thought of coping with life without my old friend drugs to carry me along was frightening. Eventually I said ‘Music. I like music.’ He suggested a choir. ‘What, frilly ruffs, collars and church music? Nah, not for me, mate’ I responded.
After a couple of weeks of procrastination in my new drug free life, however, boredom drove me to venture along to the Only Connect Theatre in Kings Cross, London. What happened that night set me on a path that would reveal that life could offer so much more than I’d come to expect.
By the end of that first rehearsal, I’d gone from being cynical, self-conscious, paranoid and stand offish, to smiling my face off, only sad that I had to wait a whole week before the next rehearsal!
Maybe I didn’t know it at the time, but that night I found my new true friend, my new perspective on life, my new way of coping with all the stuff that I couldn’t handle… and that was singing with others.
I had found the wonderful and inspiring Choir with No Name!
The choir would keep me focused, would exercise my brain again and help me to learn about maintaining relationships. It would even teach me fundamentals like standing up straight and breathing correctly! It would also introduce me to good people, who were all to become valued friends. People who, in many instances, had battled against far tougher odds than I’d faced. A bunch of decent people who met on a Monday night to enjoy each other’s company, share the joy of music and a cooked meal at the end of every rehearsal. This kind of environment was sorely lacking in my life so I was very lucky that our paths crossed. I am thankful to STILL be a small part of this amazing organisation.
Since that first year with the choir, there have been more wonderful, hilarious, life affirming, tear jerking, inspiring moments than I could possibly list here.
It’s surreal! I now have the privilege of fronting two professional bands & am a member of the glorious Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, for whom (oh, happy day!) I successfully auditioned in 2010.
I live for singing now!
Actually, (and here’s the Oprah Moment!) if I hadn’t attended that first choir rehearsal in 2008, believe me when I say that I don’t know if I would still be alive today, let alone enjoying the amazing benefits of communal singing. Choir gave me a reason to hold on when stuff got even tougher for me regarding homelessness. It brought me stability when I was in need of it, function and purpose when I’d forgotten these things even existed. Ultimately it brought me a small taste of what life might look like if I began to believe in myself a little.
Your support changes lives. Be sure of this. It is a fact. Do not make any mistake about that. I am living, breathing, singing proof. This choir works. It continues to stick to its founding principles and with continued support from you guys, it will undoubtedly move forward to reach more people in need of hope, health, stability and cheer.
Thank you so much.