CeCelia Wickham Anderson
CeCelia Wickham Anderson has over 20 years experience as a singer incorporating Gospel, Spirituals, Jazz, African and Caribbean genres into her repertoire, and 10 years experience as an accomplished workshop leader. Her passion for singing initially developed through singing with her family. Rooted in the black church, she began piano lessons, aged 9, playing for church services, and accompanying various groups and soloists in her early teens.
CeCelia has performed with various celebrities such as Mick Hucknell, Jules Holland, and Willard White and more recently Ray Charles, Take 6 and Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Jazz Centre Orchestra. She has performed at various Royal and Parliamentary events, in the presence of members of the Royal Family including Princess Diana and the Queen, President Clinton and Tony Blair, in such venues as the Royal Festival and Queen Elizabeth Halls, the opening of the Dome, Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Observance Day, The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Opera House, Australia. She has also provided backing vocals for some well known Gospel artists such as Vicki Winans, Alvin Slaughter and Helen Baylor, and has made several television and radio appearances with Black Voices and the London Adventist Chorale.
In April 2000 CeCelia joined Black Voices singing tenor and bass. Black Voices, a female acappella quintet, “is one of the most solid and leading performance and teaching companies in the UK, sharing acappella, primarily from Africa but also throughout the Diaspora. The company, while inspired by Sweet Honey in the Rock, Mahalia Jackson, Take Six to name a few, has, since inception, forged its own dynamic way of distilling and representing black music from an African, Caribbean, Black British perspective.
Grounded in the black church, the group presents acappella, both sacred and secular, which challenges, is captivating and entertaining. From Gospel to spirituals, Caribbean to African, jazz and blues”. The Guardian, 2004
In addition to her ongoing performances with Black Voices and Directing Chelmsford, CeCelia is also the Music Director for 3 other community choirs throughout the UK.
She also facilitates workshops in prisons and detention centres around the country in partnership with Music For Change (MFC) and Music In Detention (MID – now known as Hear Me Out – HMO).
With Black Voices and in partnership with Town Hall/Symphony Hall in Birmingham, she has assisted in establishing ‘Community Spirit’ which takes place at Symphony Hall in Birmingham annually. Community Spirit gives choirs, who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to sing in a big concert hall setting, the platform to perform in their own right, as well as performing songs as a mass choir submitted by each choir director. These choirs with over 800 voices were privileged to be selected to form the main Chorus for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
She also works in partnership with the National Maritime Museum (NMM) to develop and deliver performances for the annual Windrush Day (22nd June) and International Slavery Remembrance Day (ISRD – 23rd August).
Some comments/feedback from participants who have attended CeCelia’s workshops:
“Celia was amazing”
“Excellently led by Celia – great voice and good teaching technique”
“Students were thrilled”
“Very successful – nothing but good feedback”
“Excellent help for material for the group and forthcoming concerts. Students benefited from expert tuition.”
“I have never learned so much or enjoyed myself so much within one hour!”
“Celia was fantastic and her enthusiasm was so contagious”
“Thanks Celia, you were brilliant – I enjoyed the gamelan and Scottish music workshops too, but would have happily spent all day with you!”