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Are you singing The People's Passion?

Thursday 8 March 2012, 15:29

Eloise McNaulty Eloise McNaulty is a digital content producer in BBC Archives @eloisemcnaulty

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"This is water and life. This is grace in his heart."

Editor's note: Jonquil Panting, Producer of The People's Passion for BBC Radio Drama, tells us how you can join in during Easter Week.

A choir singing

The Choir of St. Mary's Church, Nantwich, rehearse The Easter Anthem for The People's Passion.

The clip you can hear above is from one of Nick Warburton's five beautiful plays for The People's Passion, BBC Radio 4's major series for Easter week. In it, singing is filling up the empty spaces in life for one young man who's struggling to find work. As any singer of any level knows, coming together with others to sing lifts the heart, bolsters confidence and connects communities, as well as making beautiful music for us all to enjoy. And the music our young character is singing here, is music you can sing too - along with thousands of others.

Because this Easter week, more than one hundred choirs across the British Isles and around the world will be singing The People's Passion in a unique nationwide premiere. For the very first time, BBC Radio 4 has commissioned a brand new Mass setting and an Easter anthem "Love's Young King", from the award-winning poet Michael Symmons Roberts, and the composer of the Manchester Carols, Sasha Johnson Manning. Michael's fresh and immediate lyrics, and Sasha's uplifting settings, make this moving music for anyone to sing. So as well as accompanying our season of dramas and discussions on air, we've made it freely available for choirs everywhere to sing as part of their Easter celebrations. And, from Dunfermline to the Channel Islands, from North Carolina to Birmingham and Kenya, choirs big and small are joining in. They'll be singing in great cathedrals, tiny churches, schools, shopping centres and supermarket car parks, and 36 BBC Local Radio stations will be following their progress. Here is our list of choirs and performances that you can join

And there's still time to join us! With four weeks to go, many choirs are just starting their rehearsals. You can find out more and download sheet music, backing tracks and mp3s for your choir here.

There are choirs in Kidderminster, Ruddington, Rickmansworth, Dunfermline, Jersey, and Winsley that are appealing for more singers. In Southwell, Notts; Lewes, East Sussex, and Warmley, South Gloucestershire, you can learn and perform the music in just one day. Or simply go along to listen at any of the performances, to be part of this nationwide festival of song.

These are all the performances of The People's Passion we know about. If we've missed yours out, please let us know via our contact form, or tweet #bbcpeoplespassion, and let us know how you're getting on. Choirs: we salute your passion! See you at Easter.

Jonquil Panting, Producer of The People's Passion for BBC Radio Drama

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