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Creating Singing Magic in Lockdown


Dear Friend

Creating Singing Magic in Lockdown
Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things – Tom Petty
This challenging year has demonstrated the magic of singing can reach across the barriers and virtual obstacles of lockdown. Even in these painful months where my choirs have not been able to fully hear, sing and hug one another, magic has nonetheless been taking place. We've learned to beam our voices out across virtual cyberspace via Zoom and to become unwitting virtual video rockstars. So here's a few special lockdown singing magic highlights.

Photo: The Rookery, Streatham - chalk drawings by local school children.
You Raise Me Up
Performed by Chris Samuel, Ali Orbaum, Wendy Sergeant & Katie Rose
Sing for Water Virtual Event
If there is magic on this planet it is contained in water —Loren Eiseley Water
This year, our annual mass choral fundraiser went online, supported singers from around the country singing and fundraising in innovative ways in virtual reality.  Our virtual event had many incredibly moving moments including Dennis Lupenga from WaterAid Malawi sharing the transformation that happens when clean water comes to a village, ending the perilous journeys to unsafe water sources and bringing health and happiness.
Huge Thanks to all the conductors, choir leaders and singers who took part - we really appreciate  everyone's amazing singing and heroic fundraising efforts during these difficult times.  Thames Festival Team will be creating a highlights video to share with friends and family by 27th September.
Keep Haulin' - ManSong
ManSong Keep Haulin' During Lockdown
Courage is the magic that makes dreams a reality - Richter Abend

Much magic has been happening with my male voice choir ManSong, who were only in their second term of singing together when lockdown happened and have bravely kept the boat afloat on Zoom.
To celebrate our first birthday and a risk assessed return to singing in person this term, we have released a lockdown video fundraiser.  
I am super proud of everyone and so grateful to our in house director Adam Woods & crew. Thanks to Andy Cadie for letting us use his wonderful song Keep Haulin' which has become our catchphrase for singing our way through these strange times together.
This video is fundraising to save our wonderful venue Landmark Arts Centre, whose dedicated team have supported us every step of the way. 
We hope you enjoy it and if inspired make a donation
The Big People Sunday Sing
It is important to remember that we all have magic inside us. -J.K. Rowling

Thank you so much to everyone who joined me on Sundays during intense lockdown from March-August. We had enormous fun singing and wearing silly hats and it really helped keep spirits up during lockdown.  Donations from these sessions and from other generous members of my choral community raised £442.50 for St George's Hospital Charity.   
Crystal Palace Festival.. and more...
Know your magic, trust your magic, use your magic and know that you are a manifestation of life’s magic. — Rasheed Ogunlaru

Three Big Sparkly Cheers for the imaginative Festival Team who set up a film studio in Upper Norwood Library Hub  to create two full days of livestreamed magic in August.  I was really honoured to lead a Festival SingAlong with Dominic Stichbury - our first experience of Choir Leader TV! :)
Here's the video if you missed it
(Photo credit: Pawel Gawronski)

Shout out to Eleanor Rastall for inviting me on the 
Library Lunch Daily Show both at the beginning of lockdown and more recently,
I'm getting used to singing to people I can't see but can definitely feel out there in the virtual airwaves. Thanks so much to everyone who tuned in.

Of course, virtual reality can never replace the magic of real singing with real people in real spaces with real hugs, tea and biscuits. However we are adapting, changing, creating magic within the constrictions of the craziness, and even though everything is still very uncertain, I trust that singing magic will continue to happen on and offline.

If you'd like to experience some singing magic, do get in touch 
- I'd love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for staying tuned.

Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly 
Lots of love, virtual hugs and good singing vibes