The Military WAGS Choir Catterick, together with Muker and Reeth Bands in Swaledale, have pooled their musical talents in an exciting community initiative to support Help for Heroes. The groups have recorded a CD called “Harmonies For Heroes”, which will be launched at a celebration concert on Saturday 15th March at Richmond School.
The whole project stemmed from a song, ‘Dancing With You’, written by Jill Lundberg several months ago. As a forces wife for 17 years, her lyrics were inspired by the experiences of military wives and girlfriends and how singing and music helps them cope when their partners are away from home. The song was performed in the summer, by Five Pearls & A Piano, a group Jill sings with and Mo Usman, Recovery Centre Manager at Help For Heroes Phoenix House, was at the concert. His chance comment, “you should ask the Military WAGS to record that”, led to a great community project evolving, in aid of Help For Heroes, with Carol Gedye, musical director of the WAGS choir suggesting broadening the local appeal by inviting the Bands of Swaledale to be involved.
Through the kindness of several local businesses and individuals a CD was conceived. The recording was sponsored by Mark Stephenson, CEO of PWS & Second Nature who, in addition to being a trustee of the WAGS Choir, has donated 4 self-help kitchens to the Help For Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre at Catterick, so is extremely supportive of both causes.
As well as selling the ‘Harmonies for Heroes’ CD locally and online, via the Military WAGS website, the track ‘Dancing With You’ will be released as a single for download.
Comments Jill Lundberg, co-producer of Harmonies for Heroes, “We have been overwhelmed with the very generous offers of support for the project, and of course the enthusiasm and professionalism of the choir and band members. Having experienced first hand the wonderful work of the Help For Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre, through my involvement with the supply of the self-help kitchens, it has been so rewarding to unite my love of music and singing to raise money and further awareness for this great charity.”
Excitingly, the project has recently received the backing of the Conservative MP for Richmond, William Hague. Mr
Hague said, "This appeals to me in so many different ways. First of all it's a great activity in the community that I represent here in North Yorkshire, involving so many different people; it's a wonderful thing to do. Secondly it's for a great cause. That's perhaps the most important thing of all, and therefore it's raising the money and getting the support for a cause we all want to support. And third, I've heard you’re rather good at it as well. So when you bring those things together, this is something we all have to get behind. It will be great if people could give their support, through all the terrific work you've done, by buying this album. They'll enjoy it, but they'll also be supporting, as you say, looking after our heroes for a long time to come."
Tickets for the launch concert are now available in advance £10 for adults and £4 for children (on the door £12 adults/£5 children) from: Richmond: Castle Hill Bookshop, Richmond Tourist Information, The Wives Kitchen, Richmond School, in Reeth: Reeth Post Office and in Leyburn: Wobbly Dog and online at www.militarywagschoir.co.uk. To keep up to date with the project follow us on twitter @H4Hharmonies and @MilWAGSChoirCat.