Virtual choir of Yorkshire pupils sing moving musical tribute to NHS

Students from a school in Yorkshire have shown their gratitude to the NHS and key workers in a moving musical tribute.

Singers from Ripon Grammar School have banded together online and created a heartfelt choral tribute to say thank you to the frontline workers helping during the coronavirus pandemic.

The school’s director of music Michael Barker organised the moving virtual performance of Ballade to the Moon by Daniel Elder.

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Twelve students, including sopranos, altos, basses and tenors, recorded videos of themselves singing their individual pieces at home for Mr Barker to edit and mix together.

He said: "The final words are ‘come sing with me’ which we all want to be doing now."

Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it.It was a particularly poignant experience for sixth former Rafaella Shiers, from Ripon, whose 92-year-old grandfather is in hospital recovering from Covid-19, while her mother works in the NHS.

Rafaella’s grandfather Peter Hobson, whom she normally visits regularly, is currently recovering from the coronavirus in the Covid-19 ward of his local hospital in Lancashire.

"I haven’t seen my grandpa since mid-March and can’t wait to show him this tribute once I can visit him,” said Rafaella, who also plays in RGS’s brass band.

Singers from Ripon Grammar School have banded together online and created a heartfeltchoral tribute to say thank you to the frontline workers. Photo credit: Other

"I have been practising some jazzy pieces on the trumpet, which I know Grandpa likes, as well, so I can play them to him when the lockdown is over."

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"Seeing the work and the perseverance of the NHS during this crisis has been incredible and my mother, who works in community mental health, really appreciated our singing and loved the dedication to the NHS in the video," she said.

The 18-year-old said her whole family had been extremely moved by the heart-warming recording, while joining in the choir had given her a real boost.

"The song choice is fantastic as it’s very contemplative and quite emotional. I enjoy singing in the choir because of the sense of community and feeling of accomplishment when it all comes together like this," she said.

Tristan Paris, a Year 11 student, said he enjoyed the challenge as well as the chance to thank key workers.

"Trying to put a performance together while in isolation was particularly difficult because we use each other and the piano to keep time... Nonetheless, the result is amazing," he said.

Mr Baker added as well as thanking key workers the aim of the project was to help boost spirits and keep his students, who have been have been missing their weekly chamber choir rehearsals, singing.

He said: "We have not been able to have normal rehearsals and can’t rehearse in real time online either. Singing is a fantastic way to bring everyone together."

Lower sixth form student Annabelle Paterson added: "It was a way of being able to say thank you to the amazing key workers of RGS and the local community, as well as the rest of the country."

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