More than 300 singers and players from across Nottinghamshire and further afield have played a starring role in an unprecedented musical fundraising initiative – by producing a charity single to support local homeless people.
Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand, on sale from Wednesday, November 1 in aid of homelessness charity Framework, is the result of an extraordinary nine-month project, initiated by Nottingham musician Andrew Randell and composer Chris Lawry and inspired by the children of Kirkby Woodhouse School.
Directed by project leader and song producer Chris Lawry, the lyrics were penned after workshop sessions with the schoolchildren; vocals were provided by six community choirs, with orchestral accompaniment by individual musicians from across the country. The resulting track was mixed by Mr Lawry and mastered by Ian Jones, a top engineer at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London.
Andrew explained: “This all started with a dream I had one night. I’d been busking in Nottingham to support homeless people for quite a while, but woke up one morning with this amazing idea in my head to do something on a far bigger scale. Nine months later, and after many hundreds of hours of toil by our volunteer performers of all ages, we have this remarkable result, of which I am very proud.”
Chris added: “From the moment I thought of the chorus for the song this project has almost developed a life of its own, with each and every contributor adding something to the project. Take for example the children of Kirkby Woodhouse School who contributed to the lyrics after taking part in a workshop about homelessness. Their role was absolutely fundamental to this project and paved the way for what became a genuine community effort.
“I am thrilled not only by the end result, but also by the remarkable community spirit and generosity demonstrated by so many people young and old and far and wide.”
Dr Peter Barrett, Chairman of the Framework Board and amateur cellist, said: “As an amateur musician myself I deeply appreciate the extraordinary effort that has taken place to make this happen. The musical result is very satisfying and we hope that many thousands of people will enjoy the song and contribute to its success.
“I have seen with my own eyes the remarkable impact of public donations to Framework on the lives of the homeless people – from the vital work we do with people sleeping rough on our streets, to our many other life-enhancing initiatives that support people to live independently. By buying this song you are lending a helping hand to homeless and vulnerable people by enabling us to give them the expert support they need. ”
Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand is available to buy as a CD or download by visiting http://www.helpframework.com. The lyrics and sheet music can also be purchased for further performances.
The song is due to receive several live performances from local choirs and will also feature in Framework’s Christmas carol service at Southwell Minster on Friday, 8 December, performed by the highly regarded Minster Choir.