Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Sing' included huge number of musiciansChristmas chart-toppers Gareth Malone and the Military Wives Choir lead the Commonwealth BandPrince Harry makes his recording debut
Decca Records today reveals to the public ‘Sing’, the Official Diamond Jubilee song which unites some of the Commonwealth’s most talented and diverse musicians. Co-written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber, two of the UK’s greatest living songwriters, it has been disclosed that Gareth Malone and his ever-expanding Military Wives Choir will lead the Commonwealth Band in both the recording (released on May 28th) and the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4th.
The Commonwealth Band includes 210 musicians from across the Commonwealth, believed to be among the most musicians to record a UK single. They are as diverse as the African Children’s Choir (including soloist Lydia who opens and closes the track), Aboriginal guitarist Gurrumul, Slum Drummers from Kenya’s Kibera slum, the Jolly boys from Jamaica and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Band. And also Prince Harry on tambourine, making his recording debut.
‘Sing’ will form part of a commemorative Jubilee album by Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band, to be released by Decca Records on Monday May 28th. The album celebrates global young singing talent including New Zealander Hayley Westenra (the best-selling classical artist of the 21st Century) and two British singers; chart-topping tenor Alfie Boe and up-and-coming soprano Laura Wright. Some of the proceeds from ‘Sing’ will raise funds for The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust*.
Gareth Malone and the Military Wives Choir were selected as the perfect exponents of singing in the UK, having scored the Christmas No.1 with their choral hit ‘Wherever You Are’, as well as a No.1 album. The choir touched the hearts of the nation when Gareth first introduced them to singing just a year ago on BBC Two and, in addition to raising well over half a million pounds for charity, their runaway Christmas success has already led to a significant rise in choir membership across the UK. The two soloists on ‘Sing’, Elizabeth Simpson and Rebecca Ellen Marshall from Wattisham and Catterick, represent the expanded and specially auditioned Military Wives Choir for this single.
To further encourage the nation to learn the song and join in the Jubilee celebrations, the sheet music and words will be available for free download at http://www.stageamusical.com/news/sing
Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber were approached by Buckingham Palace to bring their musical talents to the Jubilee celebrations and wrote this commemorative song as a result. Gary travelled around the Commonwealth countries of Australia, Kenya, Jamaica and the Solomon Islands gathering musicians that he could bring together into one song. His main criteria was to recruit undiscovered musicians who showed a real passion for music. His journey has been tracked in a BBC documentary “Gary Barlow: On Her Majesty’s Service” which will air on BBC One HD.
Having recorded most artists locally on a laptop, the final elements were recorded and mixed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. The culmination of this epic song-writing project will be when a number of the artists join together on stage to perform ‘Sing’ at the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4th. For all the artists involved, this will be a huge honour.
Gary Barlow said: “We went on a journey with this record, meeting and recording with some beautifully talented singers and musicians. I can't believe we've managed to get the amount of people we got featured on this song, from all corners of The Commonwealth, but we did! I'm very proud of the result and hope people enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “It has been a great joy to collaborate with Gary on a song for this extraordinary occasion. I hope it will become a song that is sung in celebration for many years to come.”
Gareth Malone said: “We've had the most incredible year and have been embraced by the public in a way we never imagined possible. We're so honoured to have been chosen to be a part of this momentous national celebration. It's great to be able to continue the legacy of the Military Wives Choir, which includes the two fantastic new soloists on this single.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Where to hear & see ‘Sing’
‘Sing’ will receive its first play on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Friday 18th May at 8.00am and first video play that evening on ‘The One Show’.
From Saturday 19th May the video will be available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ah_Yf7ey1Q
Free ‘Sing’ sheet music download
The sheet music for ‘Sing’ is available for free download via www.stageamusical.com/news/sing. Andrew and Gary hope that schools, colleges, amateur choirs and street-party goers will learn the song and be ready to sing it as part of the celebrations in June.
- Sing - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band featuring Military Wives
- Sing - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band
- Here Comes the Sun - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band
- Amazing Grace - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band featuring Hayley Westenra
- Stronger As One - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band featuring Laura Wright
- Land of Hope and Glory - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band featuring Alfie Boe and Military Wives
- God Save The Queen (National Anthem) - Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band featuring Laura Wright
Full cast list for ‘Sing’ with Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band featuring Military Wives:Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary BarlowPiano and Keyboards: Gary Barlow Orchestra arranged by Simon HaleChoir: Military Wives conducted by Gareth MaloneLead Vocals: Elizabeth Simpson and Rebecca Ellen MarshallGuitar: Ernest RanglinDrums: Sly Dunbar and Matt RacherBass Guitar: Robbie ShakespearePercussion: Selassie Tafari Makonnen Fagan and the Rastafari Community DrummersTambourine: HRH Prince Henry of WalesDrums: Shando Archer Vocals: The Jolly Boys Nyatiti: Ayub Ogada Drums: The Slum Drummers Lead and Background Vocals: Lydia and the African Children's Choir Acoustic Guitar and Vocals: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu Bagpipes: Australian Federal Police Pipes and DrumsDrums: The Royal Solomon Island Police Force Band Panpipes: The Narasirato PanpipesVocals: The All Saints Choir
About the Military Wives Choir
Established by Gareth Malone as part of his BBC series The Choir (produced by Twenty Twenty), the Military Wives Choir achieved huge recognition following their poignant performance of Paul Mealor’s ‘Wherever You Are’ at the 2011 Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. Although that performance was the culmination of the series, this was just the start of the journey for them. In the lead-up to Christmas No.1 their following grew day-by-day, resulting in them taking the Official Singles Chart No.1 on Christmas Day 2011, raising well over £500,000 for The Royal British Legion and SSAFA Forces Help. From the original choir in Catterick and the two TV choirs in Chivenor and Plymouth the network of Military Wives Choirs expanded across the country during 2012. They achieved a further No.1 chart position for their debut album ‘In My Dreams’ and founded the Military Wives Choirs Foundation to support the growing network.
The Military Wives Choirs Foundation (a subsidiary of SSAFA Forces Help) was established to enable women throughout our Forces Community to set up and run their own Choirs. The aim of the Foundation is to build and coordinate a network of choirs so that wives, girlfriends and mums can always benefit from the support, friendship and fun that being part of a choir brings wherever they are posted to. Since January 2012, the Foundation has already quickly grown from supporting 5 military wives choirs to more than 22, with 18 more in the pipeline. They are located on military bases around the UK, as well as in British Forces Germany and Cyprus. New choirs are springing up every week and they are at various stages of development.
The ten choirs involved on this album are: Chivenor, Plymouth, Catterick, Portsmouth, Lympstone, Salisbury Plain, Shrivenham, Marham, Warminster and Wattisham. They represent all three services - Army, Navy and RAF.
About The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust:
The Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Trust has been set up to honour Her Majesty The Queen and celebrate her lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Former Prime Minister Sir John Major is Chair of the Trust , which is raising funds to invest in projects that will make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives and creating a lasting tribute to Her Majesty.
Donations to the Trust will be spent on iconic projects that will enrich communities and build links across the Commonwealth. The Trust will work with established partners with a successful track record in creating lasting impact. You can find more about the Trust and make a donation at www.jubileetribute.org
* Decca Records will donate a minimum of 30p per CD sold, 40p per digital album sold and 10p per individual track downloaded to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, UK registered charity number 1145640