“With a voice of singing, declare ye this and let it be heard, Alleluia”
Martin Shaw OBE (1875-1958)
I have been a singer all of my life, in fact my late mother told me that my first favourite song was “Shrimp Boats is a-coming” and if you remember it too, then you are older than you look!
I have been a member of different choirs over the years and was so lucky to have been brought up in the city which gave birth to the Halle Orchestra, and to perform at its home the Free Trade Hall in Manchester.
Over the years I have been privileged to be taught by wonderful musicians and still today with our Organist and Choirmaster, Derek Clark.
During the last decade, I have followed with great interest, the work of Gareth Malone and the amazing results he has achieved with children and adults alike, from all walks of life. One of his greatest successes has been with the Military Wives Choir and the number of Choirs round the whole of the UK (including our own West of Scotland Choir) is testament to his great ability. However I think that to date, his greatest achievement must be the Choir he assembled for the Invictus Games.
To take a small group of former Service Personnel, damaged both physically and mentally and in just 8 short weeks, get them to perform live in the U.S. A in front of 12,000 people is just phenomenal. Not only did he meld them into a group, but helped them to overcome years of trauma. They were able to talk about their experiences, but more importantly use them in the composition of their own piece of music, learnt in two weeks and about to be issued as a single, with all funds going to Invictus.
One of the Choir, talked about the power of music and the effect it had on each and every one of them. In fact, they are going to miss the choir and I hope for their sakes that they can continue to sing and enjoy the amazing benefits it brings.