On 22nd April, almost 40 employees from NBC Universal joined Volume48 and The Choir With No Name North London for a charity ‘interaction’ quite unlike any other. Here Volume 48's Tom Downie gives us a run down of the day...
At 10 in the morning, at St Anne’s Church in Soho, the team from NBC Universal gathered in a spacious rehearsal room with Emma and Liz, the Choir Manager and Choir Director from choir with No Name, Richard our lead composer and Jonathan, our pianist for the day from Volume48. A group with limited musical experience, but the right attitude had pens in hand and the task was set: Compose a song, or rather an anthem, for NBC Universal’s 'Care Day'.
The first half of the day was split into workshops, teaching the basics of song structure and 'what makes a good song'. This part of the day was kicked off by a fantastic, warm up rendition of ‘Hey Jude’ as an example of something anthemic, before we started crafting our own song. We initially wrote a chorus as a collective and subsequently split into teams where each group was given a verse to work on. After a few hours of thought, team learning, discovering the essentials of song composition, toying with instruments and mastering the use of a rhyming dictionary, we had our song!
We broke for lunch and were joined by members of the Choir With No Name north London choir. We ate together, had an introduction session and together in one room we began learning our musical masterpiece! The members of the Choir were fantastic, serving as our guides in singing – as a team of people who sing in a choir each week, they certainly knew the ropes of communal singing, and were a great help with teaching us harmonies. The afternoon was spent perfecting the song and learning our parts off by heart.
Once we all knew the song inside out and had rehearsed it a few times, the next big challenge was to perform at St Giles in the Fields Church filled with other members of NBC Universal’s workforce. Nervewracking to say the least!
The culmination of what was a wonderful and emotional day, our performance, can be seen in the video below – singing is something that unites us all, ties us together. Before we started, the team from NBC Universal didn’t know each other at all, and by the end we were all good friends, strengthened by singing, plus they all got to work together with members of the Choir with No Name and see what a powerful impact singing together has on their lives.
Volume48 were delighted to work with the Choir With No Name and NBC Universal to make a day that was truly memorable for all the members of the Choir and the NBC Universal staff. The day showcased the Choir with No Name members as true experts, sharing those skills and experiences with NBC Universal staff.
“…We had an amazing experience at the Choir with No Name song writing workshop. We all thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills including song writing and the chance to realise the full potential of our hidden talents, to sing. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform live with the Choir with No Name, who we enjoyed getting to know and now hold dear in our hearts.’