Community Choir Formed for Light Up a Life
In September, a group of volunteers and staff from St Barnabas House hospice and Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice got together to form a new community choir. Their first public performance took place virtually on Monday 13 December, when the St Barnabas Hospices Community Choir performed four Christmas carols for St Barnabas House’s Light Up a Life.
Each year around Christmas, St Barnabas House holds a special service for the local community to join together to remember and celebrate the lives and memories of their loved ones.
Sadly, due to the current COVID-19 infection rate, the hospice made the tough decision to change Light Up a Life 2021 to virtual service, but the St Barnabas Hospices Community Choir recorded the carols in advance for people to watch online in their own homes as part of the service.
Led by the Musical Director of London choir Invicta Voices, Matt Bamford, and accompanied by pianist, Katie De La Matter, the St Barnabas Hospices Community Choir is made up of people of all ages and experience levels.
Community and People Involved
“The enthusiasm and support shown by everyone who signed up to be part of the choir has been incredible, and greatly contributed to the fun and joyful atmosphere,” says Wendy Bardsley, Head of Voluntary Services at St Barnabas Hospices.
“All we asked of people is to bring their enthusiasm to rehearsals, as well as a willingness to learn a variety of songs. It’s been a lovely way to come together after another difficult year for many.
“Thank you to everyone who has signed up to be involved, as well as our wonderful pianist, Katie De La Matter and choir lead, Matt Bamford, who has been a force of nature in getting the choir off the ground and creating a fun, creative atmosphere.
“Light Up a Life is important to so many people in our local community as they remember their loved ones, and it was an honour for our new Community Choir to be a part of that.”
For Light Up a Life 2021, 30 members of the choir gathered to record ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day’. They also recorded ‘O Holy Night’, which can be viewed at YouTube/watch.
For more information about Light Up a Life and to watch the service, visit www.stbh.org.uk/light-up-a-life.