Online streamed concert, supported by Hipgnosis Songs, available to view until January 4th 2022
BSL stream available for the first time for the deaf and hard of hearing community to enjoy
Stars of stage and screen came together to raise a total of over £200,000 for the UK’s largest music therapy charity at Nordoff Robbins’ annual Christmas Carol Concerts, held in person last week at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, London and streamed online on Sunday 19th December. Funds raised from the much-loved annual events will enable Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists to continue to use the power of music to enrich the lives of children and adults in the UK affected by life-limiting physical and mental illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation.
‘The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas 2021’ – the special streamed online concert proudly supported by Hipgnosis Songs, is still available to view until midday on January 4th for free. People are encouraged to donate whilst they enjoy a fun-filled concert hosted by the legendary Nile Rodgers, headlined by Sir Rod Stewart, with Imelda May and Jess Gillam who all performed at St Luke’s Church – and featuring a star-studded line up from around the world including Shakira, Eurythmics Songbook featuring David A. Stewart with special guest Beverley Knight, Lindsey Buckingham, Enrique Iglesias and Nile Rodgers & CHIC, as well as performances from the charity’s award-winning show from last year including Neil Young and Robbie Williams. Music fans can access the concert via carols.nordoff-robbins.org.uk.
This year for the first time, the charity has created a British Sign Language stream that will be available from Tuesday 21st December, along with a full visual and audio transcript, so the deaf and hard of hearing community can also enjoy this exclusive concert. The stream will be available on Nordoff Robbins’ YouTube channel (in partnership with YouTube, along with their kind donation) so that everyone can enjoy the concert up until 4 January.
Nordoff Robbins believes in the value of music for all people in society. The charity’s trained music therapists work with children and adults affected by life limiting illnesses such as dementia, learning disabilities including Autism, physical disability and mental health issues. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists helped the lives of 5,782 individuals throughout the year and the charity aims to increase this number in 2022.
More than 800 people attended this year’s fundraising concert at St Luke’s Church and viewers can experience the festive joy at home – including a sensational performance by Sir Rod Stewart featuring his global smash hit single ‘Have I Told You Lately’ and the festive favourite ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ as well as a moving duet of ‘Grace’ with Irish singer songwriter Imelda May. Imelda also performed her poem ‘Home’ and hit ‘Don’t Let Me Stand On My Own’. Sir Rod then brought the evening to an incredible close with an impromptu version of ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’.
Chart-topping saxophonist and presenter Jess Gillam performed ‘Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence’ following readings by The Wire’s Clarke Peters (The Journey of the Magi by T.S. Eliot), Star Trek’s Alice Eve (The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy) and impressionist Rory Bremner (King John’s Christmas by A.A Milne).
Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins welcomed the audience, then children from Latymer Prep School Choir performed hymns including Once in Royal David’s City, Silent Night and O’ Little Town of Bethlehem while the congregation enthusiastically joined in.
Sir Rod Stewart said: “Christmas is a special time and I’m thrilled to be sharing the seasonal joy in person at this year’s Nordoff Robbins Carol Service. Everyone can thrive through the power of music and that’s why Nordoff Robbins’ work is so important to me. Every music therapy session at Nordoff Robbins is unique because every person is unique. The charity’s trained music therapists understand that music evokes different reactions and responses in people who may not otherwise be able to connect with the world – and for many, can simply be life changing. I’m looking forward to treating fans to a festive night like no other – and asking you to give what you can to ensure this important work continues.”
Tony Bennett said: “The holidays are my favorite as it’s a time when everyone makes the effort to show their appreciation for the people and organizations that make the world better. I am thrilled to be performing at The Nordoff Robbins Concert to support the enrichment they provide to those in need through the power of music – each and every day.”
Nile Rodgers said: “Get together with family and friends and settle down for a musical treat from the comfort of your own sofa for Christmas carols with a difference as The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas 2021 – to help raise vital funds for a whole range of people who need it most, including children with autism who rely on music therapy for a sense of connection and those affected by life-limiting illnesses or disability.”
“Nordoff Robbins believes in the value of music for all people in our society – which is why it’s so close to my heart. I understand the power of music and have witnessed how music therapy can connect people who may otherwise feel isolated or disconnected from the world. It’s the universal values that we can all express through music that brings us together in a unique way. I’m honoured to be hosting this special online concert for the second year running, bringing together some of my friends from the music world, including one of my favourites – Sir Rod Stewart – who feel just as passionately as I do about the important work of Nordoff Robbins.”
Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins said: “According to our recent UK survey* 90% of those questioned agree that music has the power to make a positive impact on people’s lives and is a great way to bring people together. That’s what we see first-hand day in, day out: the incredible impact that music has for the people that we work with – it is quite simply life changing.
“We believe that all people in our society – including those who may feel isolated through physical or mental illness – have unlimited potential to be empowered through music. We are beyond thankful to everyone who is making this event happen – to our funding partner, Merck Mercuriadis and Hipgnosis Songs, as well as to all the artists involved who are helping us to celebrate Christmas with a unique opportunity to join such a wonderful line up of stars. With the support of everybody attending our carol service and joining in by donating online we’ll be able to make a real difference to the people we work with. This year’s event is a true celebration of the power of music for all members of society.”
Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy is delighted to have Hipgnosis Songs as a funding partner for the second year.
The online concert will be supported by London Stock Exchange through streaming on its Issuer Services Spark (https://www.lsegissuerservices.com/spark). Spark is a digital platform that enables London Stock Exchange clients and partners to distribute a range of digital and thought leadership content.
In addition, Nordoff Robbins appreciates OpenExchange’s continued donation of their world class production team and video technology for the online delivery of the virtual concert.