Holiday Tutor: Susannah Gooch

Susannah Gooch (Suus) is a Bristol-based choir leader and trained primary teacher with a lifelong love of music making. Her education was heavily influenced by the Waldorf Steiner curriculum, where singing in harmony and learning by ear were integral to the daily school routine. She sang in church choirs, gospel choirs and community choirs growing up, and played in as many orchestras and ensembles as she could fit into her week. Her first musical job was gigging with a ceilidh band aged 14, and folk music remains a firm favourite.

At university, Suus studied Arabic music in Jordan, learning to play the Oud and performing with an Arabic language choir singing old Andalusian folk songs (Muwashahaat) from the 14th century. She now works with singers of all ages and teaches in primary schools in and around Bristol. For six years, Suus has been the Assistant Musical Director for Barnstorm Youth Theatre’s Riverstorm week, an annual summer camp where teenagers are supported to create an original, full length musical in a week, complete with songs and dances. Her current work with choirs includes co-leading Bristol’s Gasworks choir with Ali Orbaum, and running a weekly singing-for-wellbeing session at the University of Gloucestershire for staff and students. She has run workshops for People of Note, and last Autumn established ‘Supper and Sing’ in collaboration with Baraka Community Cafe, a safe and gentle evening of singing, supping and socialising for women and children in Easton. 2022 looks to be an exciting year – Suus is assisting with Ali’s Handful’s of Harmony project, setting up choirs in schools, and is working on a gallery collaboration for the summer.

Suus has always felt drawn to the magic of the connection that forms when people make music together, and her work focuses on bringing that joy to as many as she can reach. She firmly subscribes to the belief that singing is a birthright for everyone to enjoy, and her workshops are highly accessible and inclusive to reflect and encourage this. She is a member of the Natural Voice Network, and is currently undertaking training in choral conducting through Sing for Pleasure, although she finds it hard to stand as still as they’d like while conducting, and sometimes a bit of dancing slips out. Morocco is one of her favourite places to be.

Her Instagram is the best place to find out more – @suus_sings

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