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Doorstep Carols 2021 – Britain’s Big Christmas Sing
31 Oct 2021

It Started in Shrewsbury!

Tag #doorstepcarols - if you're getting involved this year on Wednesday, December 15th (6-7pm)

Carols on the Doorstep 2020 brought people onto their doorsteps to sing together in the midst of the pandemic. Broadcast on over 30 local radio stations, it led to wonderful scenes of families singing together, sharing mulled wine over the fence with neighbours and children playing instruments in front gardens. An estimated 125,000 people took part, raising over £10,000 for MIND UK and local charities, with collections at street level. Film crews descended on Shrewsbury and we appeared on The One Show, BBC Breakfast News, Channel 5 News and BBC Midlands Today. 

This year, Doorstep Carols 2021 is a supercharged nationwide event, taking all of the street magic of last year across the country whilst also reaching out to those who are isolated. BBC local radio stations and BBC Sounds will again broadcast the pre-recorded backing tracks to well-known carols and Christmas songs so that the nation can sing in unison.

Doorstep Carols 2021

A host of national organisations and celebrities are jumping on board as this event grows, supporting the British public in what is expected to become a record-breaking singalong.

LONDON

At Great Ormond Street Hospital children will sing from the wards, knowing that they are singing in unison with their loved ones. The Spread a Smile children’s choir will lead the families of children being treated at GOSH in song on the night.
Popchoir are organising a big singalong in Trafalgar Square and are engaging a nationwide network of choirs and music directors.

SHROPSHIRE

Doorstep Carols started in Shrewsbury in 2020 – Katy Rink, editor of My Shrewsbury magazine had the idea and teamed up with Beth Heath of Shropshire Festivals and BBC Radio Shropshire to make it happen. The 'epicentre' of the event this year will be carols from Shrewsbury town square, broadcast by BBC Radio Shropshire with communities singing in the streets across the county, as well as in care homes, Severn Hospices, Shrewsbury Market Hall and more! Shropshire Music Service are distributing all sheet music (easy parts) into schools during the autumn term Music curriculum so children can learn the parts in time to play along.

WINCHESTER

Winchester Cathedral choirs will lead a special event at the Winchester Christmas market, beginning with singing from the cathedral rooftop, followed by a procession before the massed Doorstep Carols singing begins.

BIRMINGHAM

Ex Cathedra, founded by Artistic Director Jeffrey Skidmore, is working with Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals to have the Ex Cathedra Singing Medicine team leading the carols via a live link-up to children, families and staff. The team have been working with children and families in BWCH since 2004 and during the pandemic. Ex Cathedra is also encouraging schools to participate in Doorstep Carols through its Singing Playgrounds project and its Academy of Vocal Music - Younger children and families will be singing together outside St Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter, and its Ladywood community singing group will be singing in Ladywood.

OVERSEAS!

Doorstep Carols also now has the support of the military who are working to engage soldiers home and overseas.

Doorstep Carols organiser Katy Rink said: “Last year we saw some wonderful scenes up and down the country, with people joining in on their doorsteps playing musical instruments, drinking mulled wine, decorating their doorsteps and having a wonderful time with their neighbours.
“We’re absolutely delighted that BBC local radio stations are on board again this year so that people will be able to tune in to local radio wherever they are in the country. It’s about celebrating the joy of singing together – and sharing the experience. It’s as simple as that!”

“This Christmas, we hope to see more of a street party festival atmosphere, with neighbours able to celebrate and sing together,” says co-organiser Beth Heath. “If Covid restrictions allow it, people can really go to town this year decorating their streets with fairy lights, lighting firepits in the garden or singing in community halls and village greens.” The message behind the magic is a serious one following restrictions on collective music and performance. Doorstep Carols 2021 aims to remind the nation of the social and psychological benefits of singing together. Adding his support Sir Tim Rice said: "I hope that singing en masse will remind us that music, especially vocals, can bring everyone together whether in unison or harmony. We must not let recent troubles make us fearful of using our voices.”

This event will bring people together to sing in their communities but it will also provide a musical connection for people who are isolated. Children separated from their families hospital will sing from the ward knowing that they are singing with their loved ones. Care home providers across the UK are working to engage hundreds of care homes enabling elderly residents to sing along knowing that they are singing with the nation. Everyone can tune in and join in with this collective singing event.

With the support of Rebecca Smith at Link For Good, Doorstep Carols is partnering with multiple charities that recognise the value of music in the work that they do. These include Youth Music, Dementia UK, Demelza Children’s Hospice, MindUK, Spread a Smile, Ex Cathedra and others. People are encouraged to use this opportunity to raise money for a charity of choice on the night.

Rebecca Smith of Link For Good, championing the ‘Let’s Sing Together’ message, said: “Collective singing plays a significant role in positive group identity, it creates a sense of social inclusion in a world fractured by the pandemic. By encouraging people, particularly children, to sing together again we are providing a reminder of the social and psychological power of collective song. This year between 6-7 pm on December 15th no one needs to feel alone because we can all sing together.”

Visit www.doorstepcarols.co.uk for more information and to find out how to tune in, download the words and music and sing along on Wednesday, December 15th at 6 pm! Remember to tag #Doorstepcarols if you're getting involved this year @doorstepcarols2021 

  • COMPETITION - WIN a Street Theatre performer to come lead your street! 
    Street Theatre’s network of sparkling professional West End and other performers will lead singing in neighbourhoods in locations across the country
  • You could win a visit from a professional Street Theatre performer to come and lead the singing in your street! Visit www.doorstepcarols.co.uk for details.