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Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand

Framework - Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand - Charity - International Academy of Music Education

Here at iAM, one of our aims is to help use music and musical expertise to enable meaningful community, outreach and educational work. Throughout the year, we have been supporting a project for the homelessness charity Framework, which operates in the Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire areas.

One of our tutors, Chris Lawry, has been working with schools, choirs and orchestral musicians in those areas to create a charity song that will be used to promote the charity’s winter campaign, helping to spread awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness and also hopefully raising some well needed funds for homeless projects in the process.

The project was developed during educational workshops with children from Kirkby Woodhouse School, who distilled issues surrounding the subject into phrases and keywords which could be used to create the lyrics to the song. The resulting song was then written and orchestrated by Chris, and then recorded using orchestral musicians from across the area which the charity operate in. Unfortunately, due to the numbers of people wishing to take part, and their geographical placement, it wasn’t possible to get all players in the same studio at the same time, so the decision was taken to record each orchestral part separately and then combine them back together again in the recording, an interesting technical feat, that had surprisingly interesting results from a experimental recording perspective (more of which in later blog posts).

Similarly, when a call for choirs to get involved was put out, many more wanted to get involved than was expected! In the end, we had to restrict the recording to six community and school choirs: Amber Valley Voices, Ashfield Harmony, Kirkby Woodhouse Community Choir, Kirkby Woodhouse School Choir, Long Whatton Wailers and Sutton-in-Ashfield Choral Society. This was yet another technical challenge, having to record and mix six choirs, in six rooms back together.

To complete the recording, soloists were drawn from the local area, with singers from different genres and backgrounds (classical, R’n’B, musical theatre etc.) including children from the local school and theatre groups, mezzo soprano Samantha Joy, soprano Rachel Barry and soul singer Andrew Randell.

All in all, over 300 singers and musicians joined together on the project, which due to availability for recordings, eventually took nine months to finish, before being sent to Abbey Road Studios to be mastered by orchestral specialist Ian Jones.

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Earlier today, Weds 1st November, the charity launch the single in front of press and local dignitaries at Kirkby Woodhouse School. We wish all the participants and Framework all the best for the venture and are pleased that iAM Education could lend our expertise and support to this very worthy project. Community music is the life-blood of the musical world, combining music and education, with its effects reaching out further into the community than can be easily quantified. Well done all.

The track is available to buy as a CD from Amazon and other online retailers, and the download from iTunes and Google Play. To find out more about the project, and to listen to and purchase the track and/or sheet music, please visit

2 thoughts on “Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand

  1. […] this month we wrote about the launch of a charity single for homelessness, Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand, which iAM Education have been involved in making happen, and written and orchestrated by iAM tutor […]

  2. […] month, we wrote about the launch of a charity single that we’ve been helping to make happen this year. Well this month the song seems to be […]

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