Isolation diary: Singing through

You can find previous Isolation diaries here.

I loved those clips of Italians singing from their balconies.

Traditionally we Brits don’t display the lack of self-consciousness about singing that the Italians enjoy – and we don’t have the balconies either.

But singing with others has grown hugely in popularity over the last 10 years or so, largely inspired by Gareth Malone and his projects that use singing to build communities. Choirs have popped up everywhere, and you don’t need to read music or even sing very well in order to take part.

Like many I am going to miss singing with others during isolation. But that changed yesterday evening. The musical director of my choir put a video on YouTube for us and encouraged us all to watch it at 8pm, our usual rehearsal time. In the video he played a recording of one of the pieces we had been working on and conducted us through it. So I, along with many of my choir friends, sang ‘Zadok the Priest’ at full volume in our separate homes, at roughly the same time. Of course, we couldn’t hear each other but it was great knowing that others were doing it as well, and the comments showed how much people appreciated it. Hopefully this is going to be a weekly online gathering.

Online choirs have been popping up this week. I spotted The Sofa Singers which describes itself as “a free & weekly online singing event that aims to bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection”. It even featured on the BBC News…

Please note

We are in self-isolation to protect my husband whose immune system is compromised. We are not quarantined, so we can do one or two things (like going out for a walk) that you can’t do if you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has.

There is full advice on quarantining here, and advice on social distancing for vulnerable people here.

If you are in self-isolation then join the Lib Dems in self-isolation Facebook group.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Great post, Mary. A wonderful set of clips.

    I think we’re in a similar situation. Walked on the beach this beautiful morning looking over the Forth and heard a curlew, sandpipers, cormorants, heron, any number of gulls, terns and a seal.

    You ought to ask William about Zadok the Priest. I think you’ll know he sang it at the Coronation. You can listen to him (and his pals) here :

    And here’s a reminder of happier times :

  • Just listening to Gareth Malone who is setting up The Great British Home Chorus on

  • I’m just off to try my local Morrisons at the ‘aged hour’ (7-8 am)..Maybe I’ll get a loaf of bread, milk and some spuds..

    On my return it may be a case of ‘Happy Days are here again” or Noel Coward’s “There are bad times just around the corner”

  • John Marriott 21st Mar '20 - 8:01am

    Got to venture out to B&Q this morning to get some fresh white paint ready for a ‘deep clean (aka ‘spring clean’), which, according to my wife, will help to stop us worrying. (Me, I’d rather be in the loft with my layout, at least until it gets too warm up there.) I reckon that FaceTime will come into its own over the next few weeks/months or so with my sons and their families.

    The song for me might be Dame Vera Lynn (still going strong at 103, bless her) singing “White Cliffs of Dover”, with that line “When the world is free”. On the other hand, ‘Manfarang’s’ choice of another of her classics is equally appropriate.

  • Morrison’s doesn’t do an ‘aged hour’ (althgough the manager says it’s starting on monday)…No Spuds or milk.

    My choice is halfway between ‘Happy Days are here again” or Noel Coward’s “There are bad times just around the corner”…Perhaps “Happy days are here again” as sung by Fletcher and Co. when CPO Wainwright appears…

  • Have now inserted the links in David Raw’s comment, while listening to the glorious Coronation Anthem.

  • Thank you, Mary.

    Brings back memories of Dad getting our first black & white TV for the occasion – a 12 inch Bush. Cost £ 80 (= to £ 2,000 plus now). A huge investment when TV programmes had one channel and only started at 8.00 pm.

    If memory is correct, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing climbed Everest for the first ever time, Little Mo won Wimbledon, Roger Bannister was threatening to break the 4 minute mile, Stanley Matthews got his Cup Final medal for Blackpool, Huddersfield Town finished 3rd in the equivalent of the Premier League, and Pinza won the Derby. A reet good year.

    Who’s for an at a distance pub quiz to pass the time.. and no cheating with Wikipedia !!!

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