Buckinghamshire Council Charity & Community Entertainment

How music is helping people during lockdown

Music plays a fundamental role in our culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. By using music these businesses and individuals are helping others during lockdown by boosting spirits, raising money to fight COVID-19 and sparking creativity.

Boogienotes choir ‘goes virtual’

Since its formation by local musician Miles Nottage in 2017, the Boogienotes Rock and Pop Choir has gone from strength to strength, with a current membership of around 65. It is a contemporary choir, singing popular rock and pop songs with the occasional well-known classical tune or jazz standard thrown in, too.

When the lockdown happened, meeting to rehearse in the normal way was no longer possible. But the choir decided that they were not going to let that stand in the way of making music! Choir leader Miles described what happened next, saying:




“When we could no longer meet together, we wanted to keep people on board and find a way to cheer ourselves up during anxious times. The obvious answer was to continue to meet online: and we quickly settled on Zoom as the medium. It wasn’t without its challenges, but members really engaged with it … and we thought if we picked the right song, it might cheer others up, too!”

Miles explained their choice of song:

“Mr Blue Sky was the final part of the ELO’s ‘Concerto for a Rainy Day’ – dealing with the sun coming out again after bad weather. We had already performed it live and we thought it just chimed with what people are feeling now during the lockdown: looking forward to a time when “There ain’t a cloud in sight, it’s stopped rainin’ … and don’t you know, it’s a beautiful new day”.

Choir coordinator Angela Nottage added:

“We did think of doing a fundraising drive, but we worried that people might get a bit of ‘charity fatigue’ at a time when they are being asked to donate to lots of different causes. So, we’ve just put it out there – and we hope that people enjoy it. Some of the choir have already said they’re looking forward to the next one, so we’ll have to see what we can do!”

Rock Choir
The Rock Choir has put in place an initiative to ‘Keep Britain Singing’ through the Coronovirus pandemic.  

Each day at 3pm a different Choir Leader will broadcast on Facebook to deliver a free, live interactive rehearsal session for its 32,000 members and anyone else who would like to take part in the mass sing-a-long.  

This coming Thursday (7th) at 3pm, the Rock Choir rehearsal will be led by your local Rock Choir Leader, Katy Seath, who looks after the Choirs in High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, Chiswick and Kew.   

Rock Choir has also announced that it will open its doors to the general public for the new virtual summer term.
 
Anyone wishing to take part in the new Rock Choir summer term should go to rockchoir.com and click on the ‘JOIN NOW’ button. They will then be able to follow the registration process online and choose a local choir location appropriate for them geographically.
The Blend Chior
The Blend Choir was formed nearly 8 years ago in Bourne End and since then it has gone from strength to strength with choirs now in London, Uxbridge and Princes Risborough.
 
Lockdown has not prevented them singing. During this difficult time Laura has also produced a weekly video which usually comes out on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
 
Brandon McDonnell’s new single ‘The Other Side’

Bourne End based Brandon McDonnell releases brand new single ‘The Other Side’ about the current situation.

With his debut release hitting over 1.3 million streams on Spotify, 22 year old pop prodigy Brandon McDonnell combines stunning lyrics with captivating melodies and powerful arrangements.

Influenced by the likes of John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and Oasis, he pursued his passion for music at a young age by moving to Brighton England and attending BIMM music college, where he truly found his sound and perfected his craft.

Making Chiltern Digital

At Chiltern Music Therapy we work with society’s most vulnerable and isolated people. Over the last few weeks, we have been adapting to the arrival of the Coronavirus to ensure that our patients don’t have to go without the vital Music Therapy they rely on.

Our team of experienced Music Therapists and Community Musicians have been working to create inclusive and accessible content that will help patients and others during this crisis. Our team have been “Making Chiltern Digital”.

Resource Packs

Our team have created three different resource packs to inject some music into people’s home; one for parents and children, one for care homes and one to support wellbeing. Our Music Therapists know how difficult the last few weeks have been, and they wanted to create something that everyone, including their clients, could access at home.

Digital Music Therapy

Our therapy provision is now available digitally. Our experienced team of Music Therapists can provide a range of Digital Music Therapy solutions to help people of all ages with a range of needs. Our team will liaise with services, families and healthcare teams to create a bespoke solution that works for you.

Online Music Sessions

In addition to our Digital Music Therapy provision, our team are also providing online music sessions and song-writing lessons for everyone in the community to help us through this period of self-isolation. These sessions can be accessed by anyone, regardless of experience.

Feel Good with Chiltern

We wanted to give back to the community during this difficult time and our team have created some excellent free activities for you to join in with on Facebook! We have mini Chilterns for parents and toddlers and Take A Breath: Music for Wellbeing to support wellbeing going out weekly on Facebook Live and we are releasing Chiltern Sings videos led by a member of our team to keep the community singing.

To allow us to continue supporting our patients in the ways mentioned above, we launched the “Chiltern Appeal” and to date have raised an incredible £11,000. The money raised is being used to purchase and send iPads and tablets to our patients and services so that they can continue to have the vital support they need.

Rosie Axon and Rebecca Atkinson, Directors at Chiltern said, “We have found ourselves in a situation where we are unable to get to our patients and families, where our sessions were such a lifeline. We have worked hard to look at how best we can continue to support our patients, their families and those we haven’t yet been able to reach. By providing patients with the right technology and alternatives to face to face sessions, they can continue to access our support during this time.”

To find out more about the work of Chiltern and our appeal, please visit chilternmusictherapy.co.uk.

 
‘Rainbows’ By Sharon Coutanche and George Stokes – Raising money for the NHS

Sharon Coutanche, a singer-songwriter who lives in Flackwell Heath, has co-written a song titled ‘Rainbows’.  Sharon came up with the idea for this song on Saturday 28th March 2020 and started writing the lyrics.  After a few days she shared it with George Stokes, a pianist and songwriter, who she has been co-writing since September 2019. George took the idea and took it to another level and came up with a fantastic musical arrangement.  ‘Rainbows’ is a song of hope and expresses the situation we are all finding ourselves in during these hard and uncertain times. 

‘Rainbows’ was released on the 1st May 2020 and is now available to buy on all digital stores including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music.  Money raised from the single will be donated to ‘NHS Charities Together’.  ‘Rainbows’ is by unsigned artists Sharon Coutanche and George Stokes and it’s their debut single. ‘Rainbows’ has raised over £900.00 so far for NHS Charities Together.

 
‘NHS HEROES’ by Big Mike

All the proceeds from downloads of ‘NHS HEROS’ written by Mike Burrage, will go to the NHS. Despite the sad times this song has got a great upbeat feel to it.

Mike’s `NHS HEROES` song is available on iTunes – please search Mike Burrage, download and get your contacts to share (profits to NHS). https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-burrage/1205455971

 
Beth Porch’s audition single to raise money for NHS & GOSH Charities

Beth Porch’s Britain’s Got Talent audition performance of her original song ‘You Taught Me What Love Is’ will be released as a single. Beth currently works a paediatric nurse for the NHS. It was a beautiful performance by one of our amazing NHS nurses.

Download or stream the track here: https://smarturl.it/BP-YTMWLI

Buckinghamshire Council Musical Tribute

A musical tribute to key workers is highlighted in Wednesday 22nd April’s video update (Vlog) from Buckinghamshire Council Leader Martin Tett.

Joining Martin is local singing teacher Sophie Jugé and one of her students. To the tune of ABBA’s “Thank You for the Music”, Sophie and her students put together a wonderful tribute song to UK key workers titled “Heroes to Me” – with the music and accompanying video recorded exclusively from their own homes in and around Marlow.

See the VLOG below:

The daily Vlog, supporting the message #ProudofBucks, also provides an opportunity for people to ask questions via social media on how the council is fighting Coronavirus locally, what residents can do to stay safe, and how they can get involved in helping others – using the #askBucksCouncil Twitter hashtag.

Vlogs will also be shared daily on the council’s social media channels.

Daily updates about all council services can be found on the website at: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/changes-to-our-services-due-coronavirus