A local London choir, who have gone digital and are rehearsing together virtually once a week during the coronavirus pandemic, received a surprise visit from a local resident – none other than world-renowned musician and multiple Grammy Award winning artist, Sting.
An icon of the London skyline, Battersea Power Station (BPS) has stood strong for generations of Londoners and is now a thriving new neighbourhood. The BPS Community Choir usually meet every Thursday at a local community centre in Battersea, however as this has not been possible due to the pandemic, they switched to singing together via video. Unknown to the group, a local icon heard about the choir and took the opportunity to get involved by organising a special collaboration with them.
The group came together to virtually record an exclusive rendition of ‘Hymn’ from the critically acclaimed musical, The Last Ship, which features an original score with music and lyrics by Sting himself. The BPS Community Choir and Sting were also joined by the cast of The Last Ship, to collaborate on this unique version of the song.
Sting, said: “Battersea was the first place I lived when I moved to London in the 1970s, over on Prince Of Wales Drive. So, I’ve come full circle now that I’m back to Battersea. The Power Station is an iconic building that reminds me of my hometown when I lived next to the shipyard. It looks like a giant ship, with those chimneys going into the river.”
He continues, “we all need our community now more than ever. Thank you to the Battersea Power Station Community Choir for the opportunity to connect by singing together.”
Sam Evans, Choir Director of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir said:
“This is super exciting for us and an amazing challenge for the BPS Community Choir. Every one of our members was over the moon and very shocked to see Sting drop in on our virtual rehearsals. It is a huge honour for the choir to have the opportunity to sing alongside Sting. As we are a community choir not everyone is a confident singer, but all our members have embraced the challenge and risen to it. The end result is something we are all incredibly proud of and an experience that none of us will ever forget.”
The Last Ship, inspired by Sting’s 1991 album “The Soul Cages” and his own childhood experiences, tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard. This personal, political and passionate musical from 17-time Grammy Award®-winner Sting is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance.
To watch the Battersea Power Station Community Choir and Sting come together to perform the never before released ‘Hymn’ from The Last Ship please see here.