Choirmaster, composer and television presenter Gareth Malone has announced a new initiative to bring communities together digitally through song while they are social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak. The Great British Home Chorus aims to give everyone, including both amateur and professional performers, the opportunity to contribute their voices and instruments to an ambitious digital music project, conceived in the light of many closures to communal rehearsal spaces nationwide. Gareth Malone’s mission is to help boost morale across the country and bring the nation together through the power of music, at a time when the general public needs it the most.
Viewers of ITV’s This Morning on Monday (16 March) watched Esther Rantzen, broadcaster and founder of the 24hr helpline The Silver Line, speaking from self-isolation and thinking aloud about ways in which public figures could help those most vulnerable around the country. “I’ve had an idea… we’ve got a great British product called ‘Gareth Malone’ – why doesn’t he create a choir out of all of us…?” she suggested.
Unbeknown to Esther, Gareth had arrived back in London a few hours earlier following a filming trip to Berlin which was cut short. Garth began to consider how he could help the effort back in Britain and was inspired by the videos, accumulating millions of views, from ordinary people under national quarantine in Italy singing operatic anthems.
Gareth explained, “We have an incredibly rich tradition of community music-making in Britain, whether that be amateur choirs, youth orchestras or regional theatre companies. We now find ourselves in unprecedented times, and while we will find that in the coming weeks the lights on concert halls and rehearsal rooms will go dark, this shouldn’t mean we have to stop making music altogether.”
Gareth Malone wants to spread the news of The Great British Home Chorus far and wide to reach and help as many homes and communities across the UK as possible. Over the coming weeks he will coach followers through the process, helping those who may not yet know how to stream music or interact with communities online, and give guidance on how to stay connected and entertained with music when many will feel very lonely and cut off from the outside world. Gareth will bring communities together through song and encourage people to put their hearts into rising above the bewildering confusion to create something positive, uplifting and hopeful.
“Not since the First World War and the Spanish Flu outbreak have we been forced to stop coming together physically in order to share the gift of music with one another,” noted Gareth. “Whether we like it or not, this pandemic will change the way we work, the way we make music and the way we value community – why not make it be a change for the better?”
Join choirmaster Gareth Malone as he brings communities together through The Great British Home Chorus – to register your interest click here.