I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend my Jellybean Day of Giving singing at the London Coliseum! The homeless charity, Shelter, had commissioned a song, ‘A Place to Call Home’, with the aim of trying to get it to be the Christmas No. 1 for 2019 and they invited choirs & singers from all over the country to take part in the recording. Over 2,000 people of all ages, including school children, made the trip to London to take part. I sing with Leatherhead Choral Society and we decided it would be a really worthwhile project to be a part of. So having rehearsed together we made our way up to the Coliseum to actually record the song. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by the English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus and most exciting of all Sir Bryn Terfel, Lesley Garrett and Alice Coote!
We were rehearsed initially by the composer, Alex Woolf and once the orchestra, chorus and soloists joined us we then started to do the recording. We must have had at least 20 takes and had to learn to be absolutely silent at the beginning and end of each take, sometimes just re-recording a couple of lines but it had to be perfect!
Alice Coote is a mezzo-soprano who sings with ENO and she told us all about her brother who had, in her words, lost his way and ended up living on the streets for 22 years seeing, as Alice put it, sights that no person should have to witness. He was eventually reunited with his family after an attempt to take his own life. She said that Shelter really was a lifeline to anyone unfortunate enough to be in her brother’s situation. Hearing her story really put into perspective the amazing work that Shelter does and it would be wonderful if the recording is a success and raises huge amounts of money for the charity.
If you’d like to donate, please visit their Just Giving page here.