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.
Daisaku Ikeda 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 within SGI-UK 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 has 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, 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’ using lyrics by Daisaku Ikeda.
In 2013, the Chorus recorded six choral pieces. Howard Jones composed music for a series of quotes he had chosen 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. In May 2014 the pieces were premiered at an Open Day at Taplow Court to members and the 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 Britain.