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Watch Newbury's Virtual Community Choir teach the world to sing

Nurse's song request results in video celebrating frontline workers

Trish Lee

trish lee


01635 886663

Watch Newbury's Virtual Community Choir teach the world to sing

Here it is, hot from the editing suite - Newbury's community singalong thanks to frontline staff. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO.

When Sarah Franklin, a local nurse who works at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital requested the song I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing on Kennet Radio, she would have had no idea that it would result in a video recording of the song by a 'virtual choir', a project involving 300-plus local people.

She'd chosen that song to celebrate the resilience, happiness and hope of the community as well as recognising those on the frontline as the country continues to be in lockdown.

The Corn Exchange with Greenham Trust and Berkshire Maestros launched the project earlier this month and today they can now share the mastered West Berkshire Virtual Community Choir recording of I’d like to Teach the World to Sing that recognises and celebrates the community’s frontline staff. 

After the call went out to local people to take part, online rehearsals began for the 300 people of all ages and abilities who responded, led by Christopher Hann, artistic director of Berkshire County Youth Choirs, and videos submitted by the participants have been edited together by local film company MWS.

There was also a Sing Sign workshop for Deaf participants and British Sign Language users, led by Caroline Parker who also performs in the video, and a Makaton performance by the Corn Exchange’s early years and education officer, Rebecca Smith, who was coached by Libby Lumley Stafford from Hands Aloud. Backing vocals were provided by Berkshire Youth Choir and Reading Phoenix Choir.

Greenham Trust CEO Chris Boulton said: "Huge thanks goes to the Corn Exchange, Berkshire Maestros, and all the wonderful support from the community, for helping to bring this project to life. This is the perfect way to recognise the amazing contribution the NHS staff make, not just now, but every day. I know this video will bring a smile to many faces at a time when we are physically apart."

Corn Exchange director Katy Griffiths said that they had been humbled by the response and support for this project. "Watching people of all ages come together to sing is a reminder of the fantastic community spirit across the district," she said. "I know the participants have had a lot of fun taking part and we are so proud of what they have achieved."

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