While the choir cannot meet, this temporary page is somewhere to find hopeful, encouraging and uplifting stuff for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) anything that you think will help and sustain singers through the weeks ahead (especially if it involves singing!) so that we can return later in the year still able to use our voices!
The sections of this page are (just scroll down):
- Song of the Day
- WSO Isolation Fest
- Songs and singing
- Managing a virtual singalong
- Online singalongs
- Campaigns for change
- Dr Rupert Read: the truth about the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Official NHS COVID-19 advice
- Red Leicester WhatsApp group
Song of the Day
Let me know what songs you would like to see here and I will do my best to source and feature them.
Today’s song is chosen by Frank: Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) celebrates both the lyricist, Woody Guthrie, and the singer, Julie Felix, who died recently and is singing here in 2018. The song, originally a poem by Guthrie, was written in the aftermath of the 1948 plane crash in California in which 32 people died. It was a protest against the racism of newspaper and radio reports in which the four Americans who died were named but the 28 migrant workers killed were referred to merely as ‘deportees’.
WSO Isolation Fest
From 12 noon on Saturday 11th April We Shall Overcome will be running an all-day virtual gig on Facebook called WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL. It will involve 30+ musicians and poets, including Billy Bragg, Grace Petrie, Robb Johnson, Attila the Stockbroker and others, all playing songs in their homes and beaming them straight into yours. Money is being raised for foodbanks. To find out more click here.
Songs and singing
Another very topical song from Penny Stone – ‘a wee simplified barbershop style We Love The NHS song that you might enjoy singing along or learning.’ Below you will find the full version, a part learning version and scores and sound files. This could be a Massed Sing song when all this is over! Great hats, Penny!
Score, parts and sound files for We Love the NHS can be found here.
Penny Stone again, this time teaching the tune and various words to Bella Ciao ‘in solidarity with our Italian Sisters and Brothers’. Bella Ciao is rapidly becoming a favourite rallying song in the current circumstances (see invitation from Stephen Taberner below). Penny also points out her gallery of awesome women musicians – and her lovely guitar is also featured!
More from Katy Rose Bennett, this time a learning video for Stand By Me, the great Ben E. King standard.
An uplifting song, Somos El Barco, from Penny Stone of Protest In Harmony: ‘This is the first of some singalong radical songs I’m putting up for Protest in Harmony – feel free to share with your groups – I teach the chorus first, then do a full sing through. Hope it helps a little.’
Two learning videos for a powerful and simple song, Fire In My Heart (Emily Roblyn) and a more familiar one, Lean On Me (Bill Withers) as taught by Katy Rose Bennett.
German people in Bamberg singing Bella Ciao from their balconies in solidarity with Italians in lockdown due to COVID-19.
Managing a virtual singalong
Ed Blunt, the MD of Camden Voices, explains below how he managed a virtual performance by his choir with their performance of True Colours following.
Stephen Taberner from the Spooky Men’s Chorale is running several virtual Massive Singlets on 5th, 7th and 9th April with up to 500 singers worldwide (using Zoom technology). You can sign up for these on his website here.
The Love2Sing choir from west London is running a virtual choir at 7.30 pm every Friday evening. Registration on a FCFS basis is from 10 am every Friday. Click here for more details.
Hear the Couch Choir – over 1000 singers from 18 countries – singing Close To You by Burt Bacharach. Remarkable!
Simon Lubkowski, who leads Knighton Community Choir and sings with the Simpletones, is a local music teacher getting together a virtual choir to sing The White Cliffs of Dover. You need to sign up by next Wednesday 25th March) at the latest. Click here for the score, all the tracks, and the opportunity to sign up.
The Sofa Singers is a free, weekly online singing event set up by vocal leader James Sills that aims ‘to bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection.’ Click here to sign up and join others around the world in singing!
Choir Community has launched Distant-Sing to bring singers together for an online singing experience. This ‘is what many of us rely on for our sanity and some for our actual livelihoods.’ Click here for more information and to sign up.
Campaigns for change
Protect Our NHS (38 Degrees)
Keep Our NHS Public (NHS staff pressure group)
Save Labour’s Peace Minister (Labour CND)
Protect People and Invest in Our Future (Greenpeace)
Dr Rupert Read: the truth about the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic
Official NHS COVID-19 advice
Red Leicester WhatsApp Group
If you want to join the Red Leicester WhatsApp group to share chat, messages, photos and other uplifting stuff, then let Jane (email@example.com) know and she will add you to the group. Please note that important messages with information relevant to all choir members should be sent via the Red Leicester email group.