West Norfolk's Rock Choir members to release charity Christmas single
West Norfolk Rock Choir singers are joining thousands across the nation to create a socially-distanced Christmas single to support the Mental Health Foundation.
The single, Keeping The Dream Alive, is set to be released on December 11 and will feature singers from Swaffham, King's Lynn, Hunstanton, Fakenham and Downham Market.
West Norfolk Rock Choir Leader Mike Tandy said: “Like any choirs, we are now rehearsing online, it took a bit of getting used to but we seem to be getting into the swing of it now. The members seem to be really enjoying themselves, especially with the new single. Across West Norfolk around 150 members took part, they’re quite keen to get involved.
“It’s definitely brightening up everyone’s day and helps to pass the time. A lot of our members are still working and we have a few who work for the NHS who are too busy to join us right now, but we also have a lot of retired members and it’s helped us all. So many people have had to stop the things they love, but Zoom has helped us keep some of that pre-COVID normality.”
Thousands of singers from across England, Wales and Scotland came together virtually to record their vocals for the upcoming Christmas single as part of the largest contemporary choir in the world.
Mark Rowland, CEO of the Mental Health Foundation said: “We are delighted that Rock Choir is releasing their own version of ‘Keeping the Dream Alive’ and supporting good mental health for all. We are very excited to hear the single and hope that, as it’s coming out at Christmas, it has a shot of becoming that elusive number one!
"Music is great for our mental health; both listening to it and playing or singing which is why Rock Choir are such a great fit for us. We love knowing that people all around the country are taking part.”
Bringing all Rock Choir members together as one choir and raising awareness of mental health, the Christmas single will send a message of hope into homes across the country as 2020 draws to a close.
Founder of Rock Choir, Caroline Redman Lusher, said: "The lyrics in the song are extremely relevant to arts and entertainment at the moment; 'The game will never be over, because we’re keeping the dream alive'. It’s been one of the hardest hit industries this year and everyone is desperate to find a positive and successful way forward to allow music and singing to take its place in society again. Singing brings a sense of community and togetherness with a power to uplift and heal individuals. It shouldn’t be taken for granted.
"The Christmas single will unite us all and reinforce why Rock Choir is so very special for the UK. The mental health and well-being of our Membership is central to everything we do in Rock Choir so the whole project is perfect. We are also bringing the Rock Choir sparkle to Christmas this year and I am so proud of everyone taking part and delighted to be once again joining forces with the Mental Health Foundation.”
When the pandemic hit the UK, Rock Choir provided a lifeline for many who became isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions. Adapting quickly, the choir changed their membership to a virtual online experience and helped communities stay connected throughout each lockdown.
As the mental health of millions across the UK is affected by the pandemic, Rock Choir has opened up its feel-good, uplifting singing sessions to anyone who would like to join, offering a free daily live singing session through their Facebook page. Over 106 days, these live sessions reached over five million views.
The Rock Choir team also hosted a 24-hour music and wellbeing online event in May as part of Mental Health Awareness Week and raised over £45,000 for the Mental Health Foundation.
‘Keeping the Dream Alive’ will be released on December 11 and will be available on all major streaming platforms.