The Story So Far


Snapshot Songs involves over 150 singers, musicians and poets coming together to create and perform a collection of songs composed especially by the international award-winning composer Stuart Hancock. But how did this project come about?

The SHM Foundation likes to get individuals and organisations that wouldn’t normally work together to collaborate in new ways. We encourage our partners go beyond their comfort zone to create world class art events that expand our notions of what participation can be.

Award-winning composer Stuart Hancock became composer-in-residence at the Foundation after the performance of his Folk Song Suite by the Holst Singers at the Foundation-supported event Voices Now in the Roundhouse in 2011. The SHM Foundation asked Stuart to create a brand new song cycle that would reflect the complexities of London life today, and bring some contemporary freshness to this traditional form. Snapshot Songs was born.

Barbican-Guildhall Creative Learning has also been working in partnership with The SHM Foundation for some years now on new ways of engaging in cross-arts collaboration for large-scale participatory performance projects such as Disruption and Come and Play. The SHM Foundation were delighted then when they agreed to collaborate again and explore ways of working with a composer as the presentation partner for Snapshot Songs.

The Snapshot Songs community has now grown to include groups such as Body and Soul, Only Connect, Peter Ash and the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, The Silk Street Chorus, creative learning ensembles Drum Works, Barbican Young Poets, Future Band, and a large number of singers hoping to form the Snapshot Songs choir or bag a solo!

Keep coming back to this blog to see how the search for the capital’s best and most varied singers is going and check in on Stuart’s composition process. To find out where you can catch the next Snapshot Songs workshop or to book an audition, subscribe here.