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Soundabout is a UK charity devoted to giving people with severe and profound learning difficulties a voice. Collaborating with local music education hubs and supported by Arts Council England, the charity has created inclusive, all-ability choirs in Bristol, Leicestershire, Peterborough, Oxford, West Midlands and Wiltshire. During 2020, the choirs continued to meet on Zoom and demand was such that five new choirs were created.
The Zero Discrimination Day project created a unique collaboration between Soundabout, Together Productions, the legendary King’s Singers vocal sextet and various inclusive choirs. The Mixed Up Chorus unites people from across cultural, religious and political divides, and the Sing For Freedom Choir offers musical expression to refugee survivors of torture.
The animated video of the Backer, Davis, Cook and Greenaway hit was edited by Figment Arts and the music arranged by Steve Dunachie.
Over 200 singers participated from the three choirs, each recording from their homes during lockdown. The King’s Singers chose all three choirs as ambassadors of their ‘Finding Harmony’ campaign, promoting the uniting power of song.
As The King’s Singers’ first counter-tenor Patrick Dunachie said, ‘Having begun to work alongside these choirs last year, it is beautiful to see the spirit of ‘Finding Harmony’ in action, as they come together with us to create a musical performance, despite severely challenging circumstances. We hope this collaboration will bring smiles to many faces around the world, inspire others to be creative and defiant in how they make music, and also highlight an important initiative by the UN.’
Clare Cook, CEO of Soundabout, added, ‘These singing groups have one key thing in common: a commitment to musical inclusion. The vision of the Soundabout Inclusive Choirs is to create musical communities without barriers and we are so proud to stand together with this powerful group of singers against discrimination of all forms.’
Holly Jones & Jeremy Haneman, Directors of Together Productions, which runs the Mixed Up Chorus and the Sing for Freedom Choir, said, ‘We’re delighted and honoured to be collaborating with the King’s Singers and the amazing Soundabout Choirs to raise our voices together and take a stand for zero discrimination. We believe that building bonds of empathy and community through the arts is one of the most powerful ways to create change.’