LONDON, June 16, 2020
LONDON, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Launching today, Hand of Hope is an anthem to commemorate the lives of those lost to COVID-19 and to celebrate the key workers who continue to work tirelessly every day.
Inspired by public acts of solidarity and the resilient creativity of culture in quarantine, the anthem's creators, Nigel Short and Piers Schmidt, developed the idea of reinterpreting a well-known tune to create an uplifting cultural expression for our times.
A poem was commissioned from one of the world's most prolific and much-loved authors, Alexander McCall Smith, whose moving words have memorialised the effect that COVID-19 has had on all our lives.
The three verses of Hand of Hope are set to Gustav Holst's stirring melody 'Thaxted' and acknowledge the unexpected challenge that the coronavirus issued. Verse 2 salutes the carers that 'never left our side' and expresses gratitude for the solidarity and compassion that has risen to the surface in these trying times while the final verse looks forward to a 'future victory' when hopefully the virus will be brought under control.
McCall Smith has penned four additional lines – an in memoriam for the many we have lost. This reflective interlude is sung a capella in a section composed by Nigel Short, the founder and artistic director of world-renowned choir Tenebrae.
Tenebrae has given Hand of Hope its premiere performance, with 19 singers recorded individually and remotely during lockdown and then mixed with an organ track recorded by James Sherlock in the Holmens Kirke, Copenhagen.
The jewel in the anthem's crown is the solo of young South African soprano Vuvu Mpofu, who recorded her beautiful contribution in her home city of Port Elizabeth.
Tenebrae and Vuvu Mpofu will re-record the anthem professionally when government guidelines allow, after which, Hand of Hope will be released as a track for download.
Hand of Hope aims to unite communities in a harmonious mark of respect and to serve as a reminder for generations to come. Choirs and individuals are encouraged to download the sheet music, free from www.handofhope.global, and to sing, record and share their own performances @handofhope_2020.
100% of all proceeds (donations and monies raised from the downloads of Hand of Hope) will be used by the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Division to fast track the development of tools to treat COVID-19.
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