Rhinegold Photo credit: LPC
Ring the Bells will be performed in carol concerts this Christmas to raise money for homelessness

Harriet Clifford

The Christmas carol fighting homelessness

4:38, 7th November 2019

Choirs around the UK are raising funds for homeless charity Crisis through performances of a Christmas carol, Ring the Bells.

The initiator of the project, the London Philharmonic Choir (LPC), has been calling on others to take on the carol, resulting in over 50 choirs (to date) signing up, with a total of 60 performances scheduled this Christmas. Ring the Bells was composed by Paul Fincham for the LPC in 2017, and premiered at the Royal Albert Hall under Toby Purser.

The first performance this year, in Cambridge on Sunday 1 December by Out of the Shadows choir, is followed by a UK-wide schedule of performances, including by the choir of Fincham’s old college, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, on Friday 6 December.

Each choir will raise money either for Crisis or a local homeless shelter through collections at their event. In addition, royalties from the sound file performed by the LPC, released as a download on the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s label [LPOD 911] on 29 November, will be donated to Crisis, as will royalties from the sheet music; scores can be purchased from Boosey & Hawkes.

Those answering the LPC’s call include cathedral, school and chamber choirs, as well as some of the UK’s leading choruses, such as the London Symphony Chorus and the Hallé Choir.

LPC chair Tessa Bartley told C&O, ‘We’re overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the choral community for this project … we already have choirs committed to performing Ring the Bells in 2020 and Crisis will continue to benefit from royalties for years to come.’

The London Philharmonic Orchestra also works with the charity, holding an annual week-long music workshop with Crisis members, which culminates this year in a free concert on Saturday 9 November. Crisis works with people on the streets to bring them out of homelessness through providing education, as well as support with housing, health and employment; CEO Jon Sparkes has reported that the number of people sleeping rough in the UK has grown by 150 per cent in the last 10 years.

Bartley commented, ‘I’m so inspired by the work that Crisis does; I wanted to use my skills and the power of music to reach more people with their vision to end homelessness.’



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