Online carol singers share their Christmas joy

This story was published 22 December 2020

People from across North Yorkshire came together to share and spread a little festive joy through online carol singing sessions.

Happy Christmas drawing

The series of five weekly lessons, which ended last week, were organised by North Yorkshire County Council’s Adult Learning and Skills Service as part of their Family Learning offer.

Everyone can hear the result of the ten adults’ and children’s time online together in the group’s rendition of Deck the Halls here.

During the course, tutor Martyn Cresswell worked with his students on a dozen traditional Christmas carols. They decided on Deck the Halls as the song they wanted to share, so for the end of the course Martyn recorded a guitar accompaniment for each of the singers to sing along to as they recorded themselves. He then blended the voices into the finished performance.

One of those taking part was Louise Igoe, who works in Skipton. She said: “It is very difficult to sing in church or go to any live carol services this year, so this helped me to feel Christmassy and carol singing is just such an uplifting thing to do.

“It was nice that there was a range of ages and it is lovely to hear young people getting involved. I felt like I learned an awful lot, having had no musical training whatsoever.”

Laura Sugden, who is based in Catterick, joined the classes with her children, Scarlett, 11, and Carson, seven.

“I thought it might be a good thing to do while we were stuck at home,” she said. “It was really good. It was very different, logging on and doing it that way, but it was really good fun as well to sing along with the other families. Martyn did a fantastic job in bringing us all together and keeping us in tune.”

Scarlett added: “It was a really fun experience to practise my singing and get my voice out. It felt really nice, because you can hear everyone else’s voices. I learned how to express my vocal cords and how to put more work into my singing.”

Cllr Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “I’m delighted that this innovative class was able to bring people together to share the joy of singing at this difficult Christmas, and in turn pass that joy on to others through the song they recorded.

“Our Adult Learning and Skills Service offers a wide range of opportunities to improve skills or to develop new ones with employment prospects in mind or simply to learn something new. The New Year is an excellent time to take a look at what is on offer.”

See information about what the Adult Learning and Skills Service can offer is available.

In the New Year, the service plans to launch a virtual choir for adults. Details will be posted on its web pages.

Watch the group’s Deck the Halls video here.