MIF is bringing together individuals and communities across Greater Manchester this for a live streamed doorstep sing-along.
Residents across the borough are invited to “throw open [their] doors and windows to join friends and neighbours in a city-wide, spirits-lifting, socially-distanced community singalong” this Thursday as part of the ‘Together in One Voice’ event.
Supported by Co-op, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, together with MIF (Manchester International Festival), this live event promises to be unlike anything else you’ve experienced during lockdown so far.
Some of the biggest names in the Manchester music scene and beyond are set to be taking part.
Liam Gallagher, Mark Owen of Take That, James’ Tim Booth, Emeli Sande, Mike Pickering from M People, Tom Walker, Denise Johnson, Liam Fray from The Courteeners and rapper Aitch are all lined up to be involved.
#TogetherInOneVoice is a one-off lockdown singalong set to a soundtrack of familiar favourites that has been specially curated by musical director Dan McDwyer. The stars will be introducing live renditions of their songs, which will be sung by the public in a thirty minute virtual sing-song from the streets of the city region.
As well as six songs from the aforementioned famous faces, the soundtrack also features 20 different community choirs and around 30 musicians from across the city region who have all spent the last few weeks recording themselves playing their instruments and singing their parts from their own homes.
A team of sound engineers are already working hard to mix the live versions of the songs that everyone will sing along with.
Speaking to the MEN, Dan McDwyer said: “It’s been a huge task recording choirs and 30 musicians including rhythm, horns, and strings, plus coordinating sound engineers and mixing vocals from around 20 different choirs – all recording from their own homes safely within social distancing.
“But what a moment it’s going to be when those choirs, all singing in their bedrooms, are amplified by thousands of voices across Greater Manchester.”
Event organisers are hoping this mass sing-a-long will harness the power of music to connect communities and bring them together in these challenging times and “will capture a moment in time when communities across Greater Manchester come together for a shared activity that it’s hoped will contribute to people’s well-being and will help combat feelings of isolation, depression, and other mental health challenges”.
In support of the event, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Lockdown has been taking a toll on us all but this is a night that will give everyone a real lift. It’s a moment to celebrate the strength of our communities and what people have done to help each in these difficult times.
“Together In One Voice will help us all feel connected, despite the need to keep a distance, and will be one of those incredible occasions which make Greater Manchester so special. We are grateful to some of our biggest names for supporting our communities in this and creating a moment we’ll never forget.
“I would encourage everyone to get involved and get out on your doorstep!”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, and Health lead for Greater Manchester Combined Authority, added: “It will be some time before we can hold mass events in our centres again so to make up for this Together In One Voice has been designed to reach out to the furthest outposts of our Greater Manchester community and deliver an event direct to your doorstep.”
We all know the uplifting power of music and song, and we hope that by joining in with this, we will all – even for a short time – be able to feel more connected to our neighbours, our communities, and the city region that we all love and miss.”
Together In One Voice takes place on Thursday 28th May at 7.30pm.
You can watch the livestream on YouTube here as part of Manchester International Festival’s online programme MIF Live.
If you think you need to brush up on your vocals, then rehearsals are already taking place with Musical Director Dan McDywer, also on YouTube, so you’ve got some time to catch up.
The event is also set to be filmed on drones, street cameras and residents’ own films and footage will be edited together afterwards, along with interviews from artists and participants, to produce an extended broadcast.
Event Director, Rose Marley, said: “We’re inviting everyone in Greater Manchester to join in and send us their photos and videos as they take part in the event from their doorsteps on the 28th May, but we are also especially keen to hear now from streets that would like to be featured in our film of the event that will be broadcast on 31st May so that we can organise filming and socially distanced interviews in advance.”
You can nominate your street to take part in filming here.
This edited broadcast will be available to watch on Sunday 31st May at 6pm, also on MIF Live.