Norfolk

Norwich Cathedral: Hundreds of choristers in Sing Forever fundraiser

Choristers from across the UK to record a lockdown version of the song Sing Forever to raise funds for struggling choirs while singing is banned in cathedrals. Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The recording featured 269 singers from 44 cathedrals and choral groups

Choristers from across the UK have recorded a lockdown version of the song Sing Forever to raise funds for choirs while singing is banned in cathedrals.

A total of 269 singers from 44 cathedrals and choral groups, including former chorister Aled Jones, filmed their parts from home.

The recordings were sent to Norwich Cathedral, where the project was co-ordinated, and edited into a film.

The cathedral's Master of Music Ashley Grote said it sounded "amazing".

Mr Grote said one of the clergy at the cathedral suggested the idea.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Former chorister and television personality Aled Jones took part in the recording

It aims to support the Cathedral Choirs' Emergency Fund appeal, which is being run by charities Friends of Cathedral Music and Ouseley Church Music Trust.

Songs Of Praise theme tune composer Robert Prizeman gave permission for the project to use a new version of the song.

Mr Grote, who arranged the piece, said choristers were given a score and backing track.

The first verse is a duet sung by the current BBC Young Choristers Of The Year, Anna Haestrup and William Miles-Kingston, Mr Grote said.

Aled Jones and opera star Elizabeth Watts sing the second verse, before choristers across the nation come in for verses three and four.

Mr Grote said: "They're all recorded on iPhones, on tablets, just in their own homes, in their own living rooms. I think that's a very powerful message that comes out of the lockdown for all musicians really.

"There's been this amazing sense of keeping music alive against all the odds."

Singing is currently not allowed in public worship due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Mr Grote said self-funding cathedrals face difficulties in maintaining a professional choir.

The Cathedral Choirs' Emergency Fund appeal has a target of £1m and has raised more than £800,000 to date.

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