Glorious Life Chorus

Glorious Life Chorus - Song & Lyrics

Current Repertoire

Our repertoire falls into two catergories: 1 life-enhancing ‘pop’ songs and 2 a more formal series of four choral  and two non choral pieces representing the heritage of Nichiren Buddhism and the SGI. .

History

The Glorious Life Chorus has a 22 year history.

From early beginnings the Glorious Life Chorus has evolved gradually and steadily, performing at many activities and performances within SGI and in the wider community at peace events and festivals.​

Sensei visited the UK in 1994, the Chorus sang for him, and he named the chorus ‘The Glorious Life Chorus’.

Howard Jones joined as the Music Director in 2003. A period of rapid growth and focused development followed as the Chorus started to build a repertoire of songs. These songs, written by Howard, include a collaboration on ‘For the Sake of Peace’, which was performed by the Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

In order to create maximum value, two important initiatives started in 2005, ‘The Year of the District’.  Chorus members were encouraged to go out and individually support  their Districts, Chapters and HQs in learning and performing Chorus songs for local activities. We also started to perform in the afternoons of our monthly rehearsal day, singing for members attending HQ Courses and other meetings at Taplow Court. In this way the Chorus have established a rhythm over the years, of inspiring and encouraging members from all over the UK through song.

In 2007 the chorus recorded four songs on a CD to send to Sensei, one of which was played on UK national radio. In April 2008 we performed these songs at SGI-UK HQ Leaders Assembly at Taplow Court. In September the same year the Chorus hosted a concert with the world famous Morriston Orpheus Men’s Choir at Taplow Court. In May that year President Ikeda awarded the Chorus Director the White Lily Peace Award.

In 2011 Suzanne Pritchard SGI European Women`s Leader asked us to represent SGI-UK at a Vesak event, an opportunity for Buddhists of different traditions to come together and create closer relationships. We sang ‘Life Is A Voyage’, Sensei’s guidance to the Men`s Division, set to music.

In line with the ‘Actual Proof Campaign’ in 2013, the Chorus recorded six choral pieces. Howard composed music for a series of quotes he had chosen one from each of the Lotus Sutra, the Gosho, Mr Makiguchi, Josei Toda, and two from President Ikeda, reflecting the heritage of SGI.  Learning the pieces over two years, 95 GLC members took part in the momentous recording on the 8 September and 10 November 2013.  These are the ‘Treasured Heritage of the SGI’ pieces. We sent a copy of the CD to President Ikeda and in May 2014 premiered the pieces at an Open Day at Taplow Court to members and general public.

In November 2014 Kieja Samuels became our Music Director.

Each year, for the past four years, we have performed at the SGI-UK Hiroshima Peace Day in September.

Other performances in 2016 include the Shaw Theatre in Open Concert with the Human Revolution Orchestra; the 2nd SGI-UK Womens Peace Conference at Taplow Court in May and in July, a concert at Downham Market Town Hall for the inauguration of one of the Chorus members becoming the first Buddhist Town Mayor in Europe. Also in 2016 senior Womens and Mens faith leaders have been officially appointed to support the Chorus.

Welcome

There is probably nothing that speaks as directly to the human heart as music … music addresses each and every one of us directly, heart to heart. It is there, one might say, that a person can engage in the most human sort of dialogue possible.” Daisaku Ikeda. My Recollections 1975

As an experienced chorus with roots sunk deep into SGI-UK’s activities for peace, culture and education, we are ready to take part and contribute to wonderful singing initiatives out in society.

The Glorious Life Chorus (GLC), is first and foremost a faith activity. It is a ‘people’s’ chorus  open to any SGI-UK members who would like to join.  There are no auditions.

As practising Buddhists and members of SGI-UK the Glorious Life Chorus members come from all over the UK.

The words and music are wonderful, but it’s our shining hearts that convey the kind of power from song that can bring the great dream of peace closer to reality.

About the Chorus

It is our belief that singing with an open heart builds unity and cohesion. As a result our voices quite naturally harmonise.

But often the challenge to members is to develop confidence and sing with an open heart. New people who want to join can come along to a rehearsal and register

We rehearse monthly at our national centre: Taplow Court.​

At present there are 87 members registered from all over the UK and we meet one Sunday a month to rehearse at Taplow Court.

We have four vocal sections; Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass: each with a Section Leader.

Our members range from twenty-something to seventy-something! We have had children and teenagers too.

Recent Performances

On May 21st 2017 the Chorus participated in a one day international inter-faith event at the British Museum. This was the 6th annual event organised by `Faiths in Tune`. The Glorious Life Chorus performed four songs  in the Great Court. 18,000 people visited the British Museum on that day. The sound of our SGI Kosen rufu movement reverberated throughout the British Museum. Participants also had a stall for the whole day, organised by SGI-UK members from Camden, who were kept busy responding to interested people from the public and from other stalls.

Direction

The power of music and song is immense. It is a truly great way to communicate our movement of peace, culture, and education both internally within the movement and within British society​

Sensei talks continually about songs and singing,  and how important song is to heralding in a new age. The Glorious Life Chorus with roots sunk deep into the heart of activities for Kosen-rufu, is committed to further developing as an activity within our world-wide movement, forging ahead in rhythm with, and at the heart of SGI-UK.  We are committed to creating unprecedented value towards the 100th Anniversary of Soka Gakkai in 2030.

SGI-UK is for its members and for people who don’t practise. So it is especially relevant to note the upsurge of interest and participation in choirs and choruses up and down the country and which is showing itself locally as well as nationally on TV.

SGI-UK`s vision for the chorus is for it to become the sung voice communicating, through performances in society, the UK Kosen rufu movement, as well as continuing to inspire and encourage SGI-UKs members through further developing performances within the movement.

By entering chorus activities in the mainstream of British society the SGI-UK Chorus becomes part of SGI-UK`s expanding efforts to share Buddhism and expanding friendship.