Young singers in harmony from home with Song of the Sea

Teamwork at a distance during lockdown has overcome the restrictions imposed by the fight against Covid-19 to create a hauntingly beautiful musical performance.

Singing socially-distant in their own homes, members of the North Yorkshire County Youth Choir recorded a version of Song of the Sea to make up for several of their live performances being cancelled because of the pandemic.

County Music Service 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.”

The song also features in our Team North Yorkshire video highlighted elsewhere in this month’s NY Now.

“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. 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.

Andrea 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 for North Yorkshire and she’s had to adapt to instructing students virtually over video chat rather than visiting schools.

“Work-wise, it’s been very different,” she said. “I’m used to going out to schools all day usually, but now I’m teaching over a screen.”

Ian Bangay, Head of the Music Service, 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 lockdown. We hope that our musical input to Team North Yorkshire helps to raise spirits and inspire people.

“Due to the constraints 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.”