On Sunday 21st January, 825 singers from around the world raised the roof of The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, with glorious singing under the direction of the iconic composer and conductor, John Rutter.
Mingling with local participants were singers who had travelled from all over the world to take part, including from Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States. One woman, Karla Robinson, made the remarkable journey from Norfolk, Virginia, just for the
Come and Sing – a Christmas present from her husband. She arrived in Nottingham at 5.30pm on Saturday 20th after two flights, a train journey and a taxi ride. She attended the Come and Sing on Sunday before flying back to the United States early on Monday 22nd. Karla was ecstatic to be in
Nottingham and attending an event led by her musical hero, John Rutter, whose music she teaches to her students back in Virginia. She met John after the event and had her photo taken with him, the finishing touch to a hugely emotional and glorious day of singing.
Another devotee was Valeria Brusco from Cordoba, Argentina. Two of her choir directors had taught her John’s music and through them she had come to love it. Valeria also met John and had her score signed by him, which he dedicated to her music directors.
Closer to home, Vicky, a Nottingham resident, said: “A huge thank you to you and the entire team of volunteers for a fantastic afternoon. It was brilliant. John is amazing, and the soloists were incredible. I wept throughout all their performances – such talent.”
A stirring speech was given by Mohammad, a client of both the Refugee Forum and Nottingham Arimathea Trust. Mohammad spoke so eloquently and passionately about his life in the UK after making the journey from Iran, the last leg of it being on a tiny boat. He made us all cry but he also made us laugh! Mohammad received a standing ovation and huge applause and wasn’t in the least bit fazed talking to so many people. His speech helped to
generate almost £1,000 from the bucket collection.
All proceeds from the event will be divided between the Nottingham Refugee Forum and Nottingham Arimathea Trust.
We would like to say a huge thank you to:
- John Rutter for his generosity in giving us his time free of charge
- John’s accompanist, Neil Taylor, who is completely tuned in to John’s wishes
- The two young choristers Max and Natalie, who were both finalists in the recent BBC Young Chorister Competition
- The Royal Concert Hall and its team with special thanks to George Matthews and Neil Bennison
- The volunteers and staff from both organisations who helped make the day such a success
- All the singers (thank you, you were wonderful) and their supporters
- And last but not least, the Come and Sing organisers; Margaret Levin, Jane Henson, Hilary Hare Duke and Dave Hewitt.
For those who missed it, the event was featured on both Notts TV and BBC Radio Nottingham
Notts TV = https://nottstv.com/programme/notts-today-tuesday-16th-january/
39m:22s to 45:35
Radio Nottingham = https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0h2qygn
2h:19m:30s to 2:26:30