About us

The Retreat Singers bring a host of different vocal and cultural experiences together. They create a sound that not only blends but purposely retains the individual vocal traditions that each singer brings to the group. They are a celebration of unity and individuality; of harmony and dissonance; a raw interpretation drawing from African music, rich gospel, jazz and folk.

Nicole Johnson's music background began in American Gospel music: a tradition of rich cappella harmonies, spirituals, anthems and contemporary music, within which most of her family are still very active today. Since settling in Reading, Nicole has recruited and established The Retreat Singers, stretching that tradition into a fully fledged modern choir. Each member is a singer in their own right, either as solo performers or band members. Each brings their own unique contribution , whether from Scottish, Irish, English or more modern sources and have featured recently on BBC Radio Berkshire. Nicole's new status as a mum means that little Peter is already rehearsing in the tradition for the next generation.

The Retreat Singers currently perform a selection of Southern Gospel songs, including instantly recognisable pieces from the film, 'O Brother Where Art Thou?'. You will also hear songs from the bottomless well of great Gospel tradition rooted in the Deep South.

The Retreat Singers are: Joy Needham, Sarah Lucas, Sarah O'Donnell, Linda Trenchard, Cathy Marsden and Nicole Johnson.


07837 196 888


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