Event details

Singing Our Hearts In

 We know that singing and music reach parts of our bodies and brains in ways that is not yet fully understood but which can restore memory and synchronise our heart beats. Music can shift our emotions and get our feet tapping. What can it contribute to our dying?

This rich evening will introduce you to the Companion Voices network and a wide range of other singers. We will meet Judith Silver and the Hertfordshire Companion Voices (small groups of singers who sing at the bedsides of the dying)  and hear about the newly forming group in Oxford doing this work. 

What music do you turn to for comfort or to help you cry and what brings you joy?  In the second half a group of local singers and musicians, and a male voice choir will share what works for them. You'll be invited to join in some of the time.

Contact us through the website, or via social media, to tell us what music you would choose.

Singing Our Hearts In

Date & Time:  Saturday 4th November 2023

Location of Event:  Friends' Meeting House, Oxford

Charge:  £15 (£13 conc) + booking fee
Includes a hot drink in the interval

Wheelchair Accessible:  Yes


Judith Silver - Companion Voices

Companion Voices CIC is a national non-profit movement offering singing for the end of life. It was founded in 2014 by singer, choir leader and composer Judith Silver after she’d sung for a dear friend who was dying and felt the power and value of this very special way of sharing our voices and selves.
We offer preparation and training to amateur singers so that,  when they are ready, they can go, in small groups of Companions, to bedsides and sing - on request - for people who are dying.
Since that first group in Brighton, CV has expanded and there  are now ten groups around the UK – with one of the newest
being your local Oxford group. We are a mix of Companions  here tonight, from some of the most experienced to some of
the least, aiming to give you a flavour of our sound and the  vision we hold “for a world in which everyone can imagine a good death and access companionship at the end of life.”
Please do speak with us and visit our website, www.companionvoices.org, if you’d like to join us as a Companion, have us come and offer our free service of
singing or to find out more.

After Eight

Starting out as a small informal off-shoot of Wessex Male  Choir (aka The Wessex), After Eight has evolved over the years, both in terms of repertoire and singers. Our regular fortnightly meeting at various hostelries in and around Swindon usually involve a drink to start and some singing, in that order. But sometimes we take ourselves more seriously and need another drink afterwards. Our songs suit smaller venues/occasions and we have raised substantial sums for a variety of charities in recent years. We are very pleased to be
supporting Kicking the Bucket.

Marguerite Wallis

I am a healer and musician. I trained as a physiotherapist and added craniosacral therapy, viscero-fascial manipulations and
chakra work. The body is made up of different notes and I seek to allow the body’s song to be heard, for its vibrations to find harmony, for every part to belong. All part of the greater healing of the body of our precious earth.
The music I compose has been born from my solo Sufi retreats and a desire to express the sacred; sorrow, beauty, love, loss and life’s themes and challenges in musical form. Before Covid I conducted and sang in two of my own choirs- Sweet Edge and Anahita. We have performed in many venues around Oxford. I
hope to arrange a concert for Earth Day on April 22nd 2024 with some new compositions and collaborations, to honour our planet and a chance to lament its struggles. Some of my music can be found on Spotify and on my website.
I am currently training to be a Retreat Guide.

Janet Stansfield

Janet Stansfeld has been facilitating singing in community and healthcare settings in and around Oxford for over 20 years. She loves the way that unaccompanied harmony singing enables a heartfelt connection to self and others. Janet isn't running any regular groups at present but is available for one off workshops and events.

Fiona Dobie

Fiona Dobie trained as a classical singer at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Royal College of Music. Being a finalist in the Ferrier and a prizewinner at S’Hertogenbosch and other singing competitions led to a wide ranging solo career, all a long time ago! Curiosity and need to develop better maps as singer and human being, led her with the help
of many fine mentors, into teaching Voice and Presence, alongside becoming an EFT practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique) and more recently, IFS (Internal Family Systems)  coach.

Liz Hodgson

Singing is somehow part of who I am and the way I’ve met many people, not least those in the group who will be singing at this event. For decades now I’ve been one of those people who encourage others to sing and find much solace and fulfilment there myself. These days I compose more and teach less, but can’t imagine not singing with others.


Kath Lucas

Kath Lucas has worked for many years as a musician/choir leader/teacher/project worker in many community settings, including disability theatre and the Mulberry Bush School (for traumatised children). She loves working collaboratively with others to create music, songs in particular. Kath ran the community choir ‘Voices Unlimited’ in Charlbury, Oxon for 14 years and now co-runs a group called ‘Evenlode Voices’ with Jenny Larsen. Kath played in the band Kismet for 20 years with Jackie Singer, Mel Holding and Jonny Fletcher.
Adventures were many, most memorably a railways project called ‘Soundtracks’ and a residency at the Botanical Gardens in Oxford.
She now heads up a group of local musicians where she lives, The Finstock Festival Band, and can often be seen dressed in white supporting the Charlbury and Finstock Morris side. Kath has always been drawn to the Celtic Wheel of the year and places many workshops/events on the Solstices/Equinoxes and Quarter Festivals.
She lives out in the countryside which gives her ample opportunity to observe the seasons and gather not only inspiration for song writing but also all sorts of nature bits for making things to complement the seasonal shifts.


Other contributors tbc