Sing for Water brings together choirs from all over the country to sing water inspired songs to help raise money for the charity Water Aid to help provide clean running water, decent toilets and good hygiene to disadvantaged communities in countries around the world .
Each year around 20 choirs, 500 people, from across the United Kingdom rehearse as individual choirs, then assemble for a collective rehearsal the day before the final performance.
This takes place in September as part of Totally Thames and features a set of water inspired songs in the riverside location of the Scoop to audiences who dance and sing along in celebration.
Co-founded in 2002 by Thames Festival Trust and renowned composer, singer and musical director Helen Chadwick, Sing for Water has raised more than a million pounds to change and save lives around the world.
Back in 2017, Harbour Lights were invited to attend, when Sarah's composition 'Lights' was selected to be one of the songs performed. What a thrill it must have been for all concerned.
This year, with Covid-19 restrictions in place, the performances were held remotely, socially distanced and on Zoom, led by Katie Rose and Roxane Smith, with the help of Ali Orbaum, Una May, Micheal Harper, Wendy Sergeant and many more.
To see the filmed highlights (approximately 40 mins), click on the link below
Earlier in the year when I was sorting and organising the songs for access for our website that had been sung by our choir over the years, I came across one that has featured previously on ‘Sing For Water’- the Nigerian hymn Ise Oluwa, arranged by Una May. I thought by way of a small tribute to use this opportunity for choir members to either have a DIY sing-a-long by checking out the printed score and audio files in ‘Choir Resources’, or just listen along to see if it jogs any memories. If anyone can remember singing it, I’d be glad to hear from you.
There are two versions of the song included – a basic version, led by Roxane Smith (second left on the top line of photo, above) which follows the lyrics and notation. The second, the “Many Rains Ago”version, led by Stuart Jones, includes lyrics by South African composer and musician Caiphus Semenya, following the release of the award winning 1977 TV mini-series ‘Roots’, based on the book by Alex Haley ‘Roots – The Saga of an American family’.
A brutal account of the capture of adolescent member of the Mandinka tribe from his rural West African village in the mid 18th Century who was captured and sold into slavery, then transported to North America and follows his and his descendants lives into the 20th Century.