Faces from the world of entertainment have added their support to Together In One Voice, a mass doorstep singalong taking place tonight (28 May), ahead of what is likely the last clap for carers.
These include: Coronation Street actors Jennie McAlpine, Simon Gregson and Julia Goulding, DJ and musician Clint Boon, Rowetta and Shaun Ryder from the
Happy Mondays, Mani from the Stone Roses, bands including Blossoms and The Lottery Winners and artists including Jenna G, Slay, Evabee and Oneda, as well as Manchester City footballer Phil Foden.
The stars will appear on screen to deliver a series of messages of support ahead of the event on Thursday from 7.15pm, as Greater Manchester residents prepare to sing along from their doorsteps and windows, in a celebration of the importance of community and mental well-being during these unprecedented times.
Clint Boon said: “Manchester, music, and people mean the world to me, and it’s at times like these we’re going through at the moment that make you realise how much we all really need to reach out to each other to help us get through. Music is one of the best tonics I know for helping do this, and I’m really proud to be part of tonight’s event. I’m going to be standing on my doorstep later with all my family, belting the tunes out, and I hope everyone else does too.”
In supporting the project they are joining Liam Gallagher, Mark Owen of Take That, James’ Tim Booth, Emeli Sande, Mike Pickering from M People, Tom Walker, Denise Johnson, Liam Fray from The Courteeners and Aitch, who will all be appearing on screen on the night. They will be introducing the live renditions of their music by the public, accompanied by a specially-arranged soundtrack featuring performances by virtual choirs and musicians from across the city region.
The soundtrack – which includes Take That’s Shine, Martha and the Vandellas’ Dancing In The Streets, Emeli Sande’s You Are Not Alone, James’ Sit Down, Oasis’ Wonderwall, M People’s Search for The Hero and Tom Walker’s Leave a Light On – will be streamed on the night for people to join in with from their doorsteps via MIF LIVE, Manchester International Festival’s on-line channel, and will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio Manchester.
Emeli Sande said: “I believe that singing and being part of a choir can be such a positive experience. Music transcends all barriers. I’m so happy to be part of bringing people together to connect and feel stronger.”
Around 20 different community choirs and 30 musicians from across the city region have spent the last few weeks recording themselves playing their instruments and singing their parts in isolation in their own homes. Each of these individual vocal and musical parts has then been sent in to Musical Director Dan McDwyer and his team of sound engineers, for mixing into the live versions of the songs that everyone will sing along to during the event.
Amongst the choirs taking part are: The Northern Session Choir, Bee Vocal – The Manchester Mental Health Choir, Manchester Contemporary Youth Choir, Chorus of Others, Northenden Community Choir, Manchester Inspirational Voices, Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, Sunday Boys, Manchester High School for Girls Choir, Urban Stage School of Performing Arts, Levenshulme High School, Stagecoach Performing Arts School, and Leigh community choir.
The event is being delivered by social entrepreneur Rose Marley and Manchester International Festival, alongside Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), and is supported by Co-op.
Rose Marley said: “Greater Manchester’s artistic community has come out in force to support tonight’s event, and from choirs and musicians, to bands and artists – we truly are all coming Together in One Voice.”
The doorstep singalong is being captured on the night with drones, street cameras and footage from residents, for an extended broadcast featuring interviews with artists and participants which will be broadcast on Sunday 31 May, 6pm exclusively on MIF Live.
David Greenhalgh, GMCA Lead for Culture, said: “The power of song is universal and singing brings well-known benefits including boosting self-esteem and one’s sense of well-being. That is needed at this time more than ever. I would like to thank all the artists involved for throwing their support behind what will be a wonderful event, allowing us to get together in a safe and socially distanced way to prove once again that Greater Manchester really is the cultural heartland of our country. I encourage as many people in our city-region as possible to take part tonight and have fun.”