March 2020 will go down in history as the month that changed the nature of music and choirs in our country.
Gone were the regular weekly meetups where all of our singing community, men, women and children from all walks of life met in one space with one shared passion to sing and to sing together.
Gone was the magical moment when different voices come together and the scope of different vocal colours blend into something really beautiful. This was a deeply saddening moment for all choirs up and down the country.
However, what wasn’t gone were the voices and the spirit of these brilliantly resourceful people. What wasn’t gone was the technology that links us every day and would be a fundamental crucial factor in what was to become. Phones and tablets which ironically pull us away from the world so much of the time taking us into the world on the screen, became the one source that brought us all back together.
The idea that Liz Taylor of the Do Your Thing Choir Connective had when one of their members, Carolyne, set a challenge for the choir to sing a song with each person filming themselves singing one line each and seeing how far they could get. It was so moving to see the spirit of our choir come alive and Liz knew then what she had to do.
“As a choir, DYT have experienced first hand the importance of singing at times of sadness and adversity. We have witnessed the healing power singing has and how it unites people. It was for this reason that we have made this video and we hope that it will spread the world and help to raise funds for our wonderful NHS.” says Liz Taylor of Do Your Thing.
This global crisis shows us the human spirit on a daily basis, on the news and in the communities around us. The incredible NHS, the teachers, the pharmacists, the delivery drivers, the food retailers, the list goes on.
In our own communities, people have set up groups to look out for our vulnerable members, and restaurants who had to close their doors worked behind the scenes to make home cooked food for the elderly. Every day, another story springs up showcasing the best part of the human spirit. Do Your Thing wanted to thank all these selfless people in the way they can – by singing!
“However scary it was, it pushed us out of our limits, it was uplifting. To know what we were singing for makes the words more meaningful. In a time when we are all apart we became one again and sang our hearts out. To see it come together is very moving and worth all the outtakes!”, says Kerry Millward, DYT Choir Member.
Over 60 members of the non-auditioned choir, who love the fact that choir is about the safety of singing in a group, took up the challenge and sung solo for the first time, in isolation for this project. They picked up their phones, sung from the heart and, in their vulnerability, just sung.
The nature of this threw up huge personal challenges and at times that nagging doubt that almost prevented them finishing. However, they all knew the importance of this project and how the vulnerability they were feeling didn’t come close to those on the front line and our community heroes, and so they battled through their doubts and concerns and got to the end.
“This project certainly confirmed why we all love singing together in a choir! Filming ourselves solo-singing was certainly new, unchartered territory for us all, the very opposite of our usual community choir singing, but the incredibly worthy cause spurred us on! We’re all impacted by this crisis in such dramatically different ways, and yet we’re all united in our resolve to overcome it and to support each other, our key workers and our communities. I hope this video raises some money for the incredible NHS, spreads a little joy, uplifts a few spirits, and most importantly expresses our gratitude to everyone who is working so tirelessly and bravely on our behalf. Doing our bit by doing our thing.”, says Jenni Clark, DYT Choir Member
This project has shown that for a time, group singing will change and we will all need to be virtual for a while to sing together but what will never change is our heart.
For a while, we will do our thing isolated but together for the sake of the vulnerable members of our community. We will do our thing isolated but together so that our incredible NHS can do theirs and we will do our thing isolated but together for the sake of humanity and our beautiful world. This has connected us all. Please continue to do your thing by socially distancing so that we will all soon be in one room singing again and what a glorious day that will be.
Please help Do Your Thing by donating what you can to this incredible cause. Thank you.