We are nearing Christmas, and the end of one of the most difficult years any of us have had to face. Despite the challenges, choir has continued to be a place of connection for us, and although we haven't sung together in person since March, we have found a way to keep making music and supporting each other.
Thanks to the supreme efforts of our choir director, Jenny Deacon, since March NHSC has joined forces with sister choir SCC and gone totally online! We have had live rehearsals on Facebook and Youtube, an online library of previous choir songs with detailed teaching videos, and numerous social events such as quizzes and check-ins. We even managed a couple of socially distanced picnics!
With each choir member recording individual videos of them singing, Jenny and partner George have created music videos for each song, and even a vitual summer concert. We raised money and awareness for charities, including over £4000 for Suicide Prevention with Come Alive, while simultaneously keeping our spirits up and our sense of community throughout lockdown.
December is always a busy time for a choir, and in spite of everything this year has been no exception. NHSC have contributed to 12 Weeks of Lockdown for charity Pin Your Thanks, recorded and produced a Christmas Carol Concert for colleagues and patients at Kings College Hospital, and are delighted to announce that we have also lent our voices to a fantastic Christmas single which has been released today!
The song is Christmas of Hope, written by our very own NHSC and SCC Choir Director Jenny Deacon! It is raising funds for the charity Help Musicians at at time where the performing arts industries have been hit the absolute hardest. Please enjoy, listen, download and share!
Last but by no means least, we have also been working on a project very close to our hearts. The song, Don't Just Clap, was written by Gareth Lewis in support of #NHSPay15 campaign, fighting for a 15% pay rise for our NHS staff. Performed by Gareth Lewis, Vanessa Harratt and the National Health Supporters Choir - watch the video here!
Being part of this choir community has been a huge source of support for many of us this year, especially for those who have been working front line or are the family members of key workers. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and for all of us a better New Year ahead.
NHSC is an inclusive, non-audition choir made up of NHS staff and supporters. We are a political choir, with a particular focus on raising awareness about ongoing threats to the survival of the NHS and promoting wellbeing through singing. We are always open to new members and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.