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Projects Posted • 28 Sep 2023

The Nasheed Choir

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The Nasheed Choir gave young Muslims in Bradford an opportunity to develop a unique form of music that blends their Muslim, British and South Asian heritages. Performing to a packed Bradford Cathedral, they showed us how exciting it can be to be all those things at once.

Project Partner: Arooj
Project Lead: Hussnain Hanif
Location: Bradford

The UK's first polyphonic Nasheed Choir empowered young Muslims by supporting them to realise their creativity in a way that expressed their diverse identities. Led by renowned Nasheed artist, Hussnain Hanif, 25 boys aged 6 to 16 with no background in music came together to learn the arts of performance and singing, building their skills and confidence week by week, not only to sing Nasheeds using South Asian melodies but to sing them in the traditional British way in three-part harmony. Their hard work and determination paid off when they performed to a packed Bradford Cathedral showing their delighted families and friends what they could achieve. It was a truly British Muslim South Asian occasion.

Video credit: Pishdaad Modaressi Chahardehi

“I feel excited. I’ve always wanted to do something unique or something that’s never been done before.”
Participant - The Nasheed Choir

The choir's melodic blend bridged cultures, engaging Muslim as well as wider audiences. By fusing different music traditions, the choir showcased the richness of diversity and fostered cross-community interactions. This musical journey celebrated unity, expressing shared values through blended harmonies, making hearts resonate across generations.

“This is my first time singing like this and it makes me feel happy.”
Participant - The Nasheed Choir

The Impact

The launch of the Bradford Nasheed Choir allowed people from different backgrounds to connect and engage with the choir and this unique singing style, highlighting the value of encounters of people across diverse backgrounds.

The project ended with a final performance at Bradford Cathedral in October 2022, where the community gathered to support the choir, filling this symbol of their city to maximum capacity. The project's launch attracted significant media coverage, including on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Look North, Church Times, and BBC Radio 4.

“He gets so excited when he comes to sessions. He practices at home and the fact they’re going to be performing at Bradford Cathedral, such a prestigious place, it’s just really good for the community, really good for Bradford.”
Mother of a Participant - The Nasheed Choir

Our Donors

This project was generously supported by: