Care homes and young musicians come together virtually to re-imagine Christmas

Hampshire’s young musicians have teamed up with the County Council’s care home residents for a very special 2020 ‘carols on request’ online Christmas singalong – and everyone can join in

Dec 18 2020

‘A Re-Imagined Christmas’ has been produced by Hampshire County Council’s Music Service, to bring some Christmas cheer to the residents of the Local Authority’s 17 nursing and residential homes in a whole day of live online broadcasting on the Hampshire Music Service YouTube channel held on 18 December – and all the music performed by young Hampshire musicians is now available to watch again online.

Councillor Roz Chadd, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said:

“Normally at this time of year, many school choirs, orchestras and county ensembles are busy performing in churches, town centres and Christmas markets, but of course this year has needed a different approach. While face-to-face music teaching has resumed throughout Hampshire, public performances are still restricted. By reaching out to our care homes in this way, our young musicians have been able to still showcase their skills and help people to celebrate together – and safely.”

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, added:

“This Christmas, I have been so impressed with the imaginative way staff in our care and nursing homes are managing to make this festive season special, despite the many challenges they continue to face in response to the coronavirus pandemic. From socially-distanced winter wonderlands, to Christmas cake collaborations, everyone is going the extra mile to make sure everyone enjoys the season. The Music Service has created a welcome addition to the festivities, by inviting residents to record short video requests for their favourite carols, which have then been played as part of the afternoon sing-a-long concert, and enjoyed across all our care homes, as well as by the wider public.”

The music streamed on the day also includes performances from junior and secondary school choirs and orchestras and county ensembles. The programme culminates with Nine Lessons and Carols, with the former read by special guests, including Hampshire County Councillors.

For those who miss the broadcast, or wish to watch it again, the recordings will be available online until the New Year.