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Virtual choir raising money for Chieveley Pre-School in tribute to boy who drowned in Newbury canal

A 'virtual choir' is raising funds for Chieveley Pre-School in order to create an outdoor play area.

The effort is a tribute to Dylan Milsom, the three-year-old boy who tragically died in the Kennet and Avon Canal in March.

VoxSonix, the Newbury and Tadley choir at the centre of the initiative, counts Shelley Nardini, Dylan's mother, among its members.

The VoxSonix video (credit: VoxSonix).
The VoxSonix video (credit: VoxSonix).

The choir released a video on June 16 to inaugurate the fundraiser, featuring its various members singing the Beatles classic Here Comes The Sun.

Within 24 hours of the video's launch, the associated JustGiving page had raised more than £1,000.

The video can be viewed on VoxSonix's Facebook page.

Dylan Milsom.
Dylan Milsom.

A spokesperson for VoxSonix spoke of the fundraiser's conception: "In March 2021, Dylan Milsom tragically lost his life.

"Dylan's mum, Shelley, had sung with Kat, director of VoxSonix, for many years, and when VoxSonix was launched in January 2021 became a founder member.

"The community of vocalists at VoxSonix is really strong and we were heartbroken when we heard about Dylan.

"We soon embarked on our first performance, in the format of a virtual choir video, and discussed with the family whether this was a project we could use to support a cause of their choice in tribute to Dylan.

"The song we’d selected was the Beatles classic Here Comes the Sun, and it was requested we raised money for Chieveley Pre-School to build an outdoor play area.

"Dylan attended Chieveley Pre-School where he loved nothing better than playing outside.

"When asked what he liked best about pre-school Dylan would say 'riding on the bikes'.

"It only seemed appropriate that Dylan’s friends from the pre-school got involved in the project too, and they do a great job!

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, adult choirs are still under a high level of restriction, so the singers had to contribute their voices and visuals to the performance from their own home.

"Using specially-made tracks, singers recorded and filmed their parts where they were then collated to create a virtual choir.

"Music is such a powerful way to express emotions, and there is no more human a sound than a group of people singing.

"We want this virtual performance to uplift people, to give the people of Newbury a vehicle to express themselves, and to inspire people to donate to a cause to continue to bring Dylan’s sunshine to the community in which he was so happy with his friends.

"If our video has brought some sunshine to your day, please donate to continue enabling Dylan’s friends to have sunshine in theirs."

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