Virtual County Youth Choir lockdown performance

This story was published 22 July 2020

Not many of us can hold a tune like members of the North Yorkshire County Youth Choir.


Singing socially-distant in their own homes, members of the choir performed and recorded a version of “Song of the Sea” to make up for the fact several of their live performances have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

North Yorkshire County Council music teacher Andrea Rhodes said: “We decided to do this song because originally, it was meant to be part of a VE Day performance in Harrogate.

“We’d already been practising it throughout February, but then when the Coronavirus pandemic happened the concert was cancelled.

“But we decided to put our practice to good use and do the video, as people already knew the song.”

Andrea sent the music out with a backing track sung by herself, with guitar and bass played by her son.

Then the singers donned their headsets and sung their part, which was then expertly mixed by Andrea’s son and a video put together by her husband.

The clip shows the young performers singing separately at home, but coming together as a real team, to create the melodic track.

She said: “We’ve had brilliant feedback on the video so far – I really hope the kids who took part in it can look at it and be proud of what they’ve achieved.

“It’s been a big push for everyone to adapt to the ways of working now, but we’ve done it.

“We’ve had things cancelled that everyone was looking forward to, like the VE Day concert and also a residential with a live music performance at the end, so it’s wonderful we have this performance.”

Andrea teaches music day to day for North Yorkshire and she’s had to adapt to instructing students virtually over video chat rather than visiting schools like she would before.

“Work-wise, it’s been very different,” Andrea said.

“I’m used to going out to schools all day usually but now I’m teaching over a screen.”

Head of Music Service, Ian Bangay said: “The videos we have been making for all our County Ensembles provide an opportunity for pupils to express themselves.

“Our teaching has all moved online and has been well received by parents because it provided a sense of normality during lock down. We hope that our musical input to Team North Yorkshire helps to raise spirits and inspire people.

“Due to the constraints of Covid we are going to continue this style of teaching in September but hope to be back in schools and performing as ensembles as soon as possible.”

Watch the video.