Our first virtual choir

As we enter the festive holidays of 2020, there is a feeling of unfamiliarity in a familiar setting. An air of excitement mixed with a slight degree of hesitancy. If there is a line from a Christmas song to describe Christmas this year, it would be Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ where she famously sings; ‘Everyone dancin’ merrily, in the new old-fashioned way’

It is with the thought of the line, ‘in the new old-fashioned way’ that perfectly sums up a favourite Christmas pastime of carol singing, but with a 2020 twist - bringing a group of people together via Zoom.

One of the positives to come from 2020 has been the power of music and the introduction of virtual choirs that have become a global phenomenon during the pandemic and national lockdowns. There have been an estimated 37 million choral singers in Europe in churches, in the community and in schools, with 2.2 million of them in 40,000 choirs in the UK, according to the European Chloral Association & Bachtrack journalists.

“Singing is good for the soul”

Dr Towler, Audley Cooper’s Hill luxury retirement village in Runnymede

If you’re a singer you’ll know all about the benefits of singing and how it can make you feel happier, improve your overall wellbeing and mood, but the beauty of a choir is that it brings a sense of togetherness and community that many of us have really missed throughout the year.

This experience is known well by Audley property owners, Dr & Mrs Towler, who started singing 10 years ago in Windsor Soundswell Choir, after seeing the choir perform at the Theatre Royal Windsor and instantly wanted to join in! Dr Towler says

“During lockdown myself and the other choir members were really missing the social contact and our weekly get togethers, but luckily for us Guy Bunce our musical director had the brilliant idea to create a virtual choir, so that we could continue to sing together each week from the comfort and safety of our own homes. We even recorded some of the tracks and Guy created a virtual performance that we can send to our friends and family. Make you feel my love and the sound of silence are two of my favourites!”

To celebrate the start of the festive season here at Audley we are delighted to share with you our very own virtual choir that brings together our property owners from villages across the county, singing the Christmas classic ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, featuring Dr & Mrs Towler. We hope this brings as much joy to you, as it did to us recording it.

The official track is released on Friday 18th December (see at the top of this story), and we sincerely hope it is the first of many.

A huge thank you to the gifted vocalists and composer who worked together to deliver this track.

From all at Audley, we hope you and your loved ones have a very safe and happy Christmas. Best wishes for a brighter new year.