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4th Sep 2020
Maghull Wind Orchestra are releasing their 5th virtual performance since lockdown began this Thursday (3rd September) at 6pm.
This time the orchestra have collaborated with not one or two but three others to bring you a virtual performance with a difference. The orchestra asked a good friend, Danielle Louise Thomas “nationally-known mezzo soprano” if she would join us on vocals for the piece alongside the Alder Hey Children and Young People’s Forum and Alder Hey Makaton Choir. For anyone unfamiliar with Makaton it is a communication method which uses signs and speech to express meaning. All of the above were more than happy to get involved with this exciting collaboration.
The song itself is special as it was chosen by the band members, it’s a piece that the band have played before in concerts and love for a variety of reasons. Members sent in their videos and they were again edited together by band trombonist Chris Horswood. This time 53 people took part in the performance including all of the special guests.
World in Union seems an appropriate song to perform at this time as we look to unite together to come through the difficulties being faced across our world. The lyrics “we may face high mountains, must cross rough seas, we must take our place in history and live in dignity” being especially poignant.
So why was Danielle so keen to get involved? She explained how virtual performances have kept her spirits lifted during what has been a very hard few months. Performing is more than just a job to her and to be told this is now deemed as dangerous has been very difficult. Virtual performances are not only wonderful for the musicians who are involved but also for the general public who are missing being able to attend live performances. Music brings people together, whether that be live or virtually, bringing people happiness which is so important when people are having to isolate with limited contact with others. As for working with Maghull Wind Orchestra again Danielle added:
“I loved working with the fantastic Maghull Wind Orchestra last year so was absolutely thrilled that they wanted to collaborate on such a fitting, beautiful piece. I just hope we can all be on stage together sooner rather than later,” a sentiment that the orchestra couldn’t agree more with!
The orchestra also loved the idea of being able to unite people through alternative communication methods and this is where the Alder Hey Makaton Choir and Forum became involved. Both groups are represented within the final video signing along to the piece. The Makaton choir is formed of different professionals from across the trust from nurses to matrons and directors! It began around 12 months ago with the aim of raising awareness of alternative forms of communication. As a group they were really excited to have the opportunity to sign along to the piece and share their experience with the wider community. The other guest group is the Forum, formed of 30+ young people aged from 6 – 19, all of whom are accessing NHS services or have an interest in making positive changes within the NHS. Some of the young people shared their thoughts: Ethan, age 10 said “It made me feel very sad that some people can’t hear music but I’m glad I can help them understand the words of what is being sung.” Darcie, age 7 added, “It felt special to be asked to take part in the performance with an orchestra to help others. I’ve never done anything like this before!” Molly, age 16 added, “I felt this was a great idea and an incredible opportunity to take part in a video and help others.”
We finally spoke with Kate Warriner who is Chief Digital and Information Officer at Alder Hey and the Chair of Maghull Wind Orchestra. She told us “I’m so proud of this fabulous collaboration between MWO, Alder Hey Children and Young People’s Forum, Makaton Choir and Danielle Louise Thomas. It is fantastic to see such an amazing group of talented individuals working in union – brought together through a shared love of music to bring smiles and kindness to people’s lives. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.”
The finished version will be available on Maghull Wind Orchestra’s YouTube channel by following this link https://youtu.be/2GHOHoU18Ds as well as on Facebook (MaghullWindOrchestra), Twitter (@MaghullWindOrch) and the orchestra’s website – www.maghullwindorchestra.co.uk.
Alder Hey Children's Charity