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West Berkshire Virtual Community Choir presents...

The Corn Exchange Newbury, in partnership with Greenham Trust and Berkshire Maestros, are delighted to share the West Berkshire Virtual Community Choir recording of I’d like to Teach the World to Sing in celebration and recognition of the community’s frontline staff.

Earlier this month we called out to local people to take part in our virtual choir, with online rehearsals available to all ages and abilities. Over 300 people took part in these sessions led by Christopher Hann, Artistic Director of Berkshire County Youth Choirs, and videos submitted by the participants have been edited together by local film company MWS.

There was also a Sing Sign workshop for Deaf participants and British Sign Language users, led by Caroline Parker who also performs in the video, and a Makaton performance by our Early Years and Education Officer, Rebecca Smith, who was coached by Libby Lumley Stafford from Hands Aloud. Backing vocals were provided by Berkshire Youth Choir and Reading Phoenix Choir.

The song, I’d like to Teach the World to Sing, was chosen by Sarah Franklin, a local nurse who works at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. This virtual choir project was launched after she requested this song on Kennet Radio, to celebrate the resilience, happiness and hope of the community as well as recognising those on the frontline as the country continues to be in lockdown.

Chris Boulton, CEO of Greenham Trust
, says ‘Huge thanks goes to the Corn Exchange, Berkshire Maestros, and all the wonderful support from the community, for helping to bring this project to life. This is the perfect way to recognise the amazing contribution the NHS staff make, not just now, but every day. I know this video will bring a smile to many faces at a time when we are physically apart’.

Katy Griffiths, Director of the Corn Exchange
, says ‘We have been so humbled by the response and support for this project, and watching people of all ages come together to sing is a reminder of the fantastic community spirit across the district. I know the participants have had a lot of fun taking part and we are so proud of what they have achieved.’