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Posted on 17 May 2020

It’s a very strange time to be doing this; we had no idea when planning for it that we might be at war with a vicious enemy and that virtual communication would be the only way that we can be in contact with you. So it’s a relief to have the website up and running, showing our new public face and allowing us to tell you about our plans we have to help with life’s struggles.

Writing at this time is quite a thing to do — there’s so much to say about coping with lockdown — but I want particularly to write about our choir, and what it means to me personally.

Choirs have been central to my life from a very early age.  I’m a psychologist, not a musician, and although I’ve had to struggle with learning about music, I’ve understood the effects of choirs in people’s lives and how powerful they can be. So when Laura suggested as one of her aims in developing NYMTC that we have our own choir, you can imagine my response, and I got on with it.  Given that the name of our new Centre was The Byre (an old word for cowshed) the obvious name for us was The Byre Choir — perfect.

What we wanted was to bring people together for them to have the experience of singing; also by performing around the area we would be able to spread the word about NYMTC.  You’ll see pictures of us already on this website as we’ve started to do this.

But now with lockdown we can’t carry on.  Although singing is very good for lung health (everyone should have been doing it before the virus struck) singing together as a group is one of the last thing we will be allowed to do to. I feel bereft personally, and sad that we can’t be doing what I think of as the perfect way to cheer people up and improve their lives.

But lockdown does allow time for preparing for the future. I have been sorting through old piles of music. I found lots of forgotten gems, but best of all, at the moment was coming across the score of the old New Seekers song: “I’d like to teach the world to sing”. I didn’t really know the words, but now I’m quite captivated by them and it’s an obvious candidate for the future:

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company.
I’d like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand,
And hear them echo through the hills,
For peace throughout the land.