Mountbatten Community Choir release song to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown

Mountbatten Community Choir has released a song to mark one year since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was written and recorded remotely through Zoom during the first two months of 2021 while Mountbatten’s day, self-help and rehabilitation services and social programme have been affected by the pandemic.

One Day Soon is a song of hope that expresses the isolation experienced during the pandemic and the growing optimism of return to normal life.   'One Day Soon' can viewed on the Mountbatten You Tube channel - click on the image below:

Song written by young adults with life-limiting conditions

The song has been written by members of a group of young adults with life-limiting conditions who gathered weekly at Mountbatten Isle of Wight before lockdown and, like many of Mountbatten’s services, have continued to meet online with the hospice’s music therapist Fraser Simpson who works at Mountbatten through a partnership with national music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.

The Mountbatten Isle of Wight choir, also run by Fraser, has continued to meet weekly online through the pandemic as well, and has been joined by members of the choir at Mountbatten Hampshire as an unexpected benefit of the pandemic.

Fraser said: “There are challenges to music-making online, but group song-writing is something that can work well, with everyone contributing ideas. And channelling personal feelings into something creative is a great thing to do when things are tough, giving a sense of something good coming out of it all.”

Kate Newitt is a member of the young adults’ group who worked together on One day soon, and she can be seen in the opening sequence of the song. Kate said: “For anyone living with a disease or disability, coronavirus has been another hurdle in life to conquer, but this time we were all in it together. We started many new indoor projects during lockdown but what I looked forward to so much was the Wednesday groups on Zoom. It was lovely to have the human interaction and meant we felt less isolated and still like a team. When hearing that restrictions would start to be eased, we all thought it would be a perfect time to write a song, representing hope. It was great teamwork as we could all connect together and understand each other’s feelings. We hope you all enjoy the catchy lyrics as much as we did creating them!”

Fraser continued: “The online choir has been a great way to enable our members to stay connected over the past year. We had a cracking time recording the song, I think it brought quite a few of us out of our comfort zones and got us learning some new skills with technology, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Creating a ‘product’ to share with others is very satisfying and exciting. I’m very grateful to film maker Chris Waitt who generously offered his time and professional expertise to help us bring the video and the song together.”

Fraser’s comments are echoed by members of the choir who fed back their thoughts about the project afterwards:

“Our Wednesday nights during the last 12 months have been a great help with the isolation we have all suffered, but this piece of work has brought us all closer together, and the younger members of Mountbatten have developed a great song which they should be very proud of. It will always be an event that will stay with me.”

“Taking part in the recent video project provided a very welcome sense of purpose and belonging. I detected amongst my choir friends a glimpse of the old ‘esprit de corps’ that makes the Mountbatten Community Choir so special to us.”

“I think the young people just caught the mood of most people at the moment longing to get out of lockdown which must be especially trying for them. It was an honour to put voices to their words.”

“Such a privilege to sing a song of joy and hope. We had such fun doing the recording.”

“It was a much-needed boost to us all.”

“Such a great opportunity to share music and create friendships.”

“I really enjoyed every minute [of the recording], I felt as if I had had a night out with a lot of friends, ended on a high.”

“It was a great night. A good laugh and lovely to be able to feel that we were all doing something ‘together’ although apart.”

“It felt like a family gathered around the piano when we all stayed to listen and encourage each other as we sang and recorded our parts… we are all healed in some way when we sing together, and this experience was another tonic.”

Nigel Hartley, CEO of Mountbatten, said: “With the gradual easing of lockdown we have all got hope in our hearts. The pandemic has been tough for everyone, especially for those who live with an illness. Reflecting on the last year as we mark the anniversary of the first lock down is important and we should all take a moment to remember those who have lost their lives to COVID and other illnesses as a result of the pandemic. The song ‘One Day Soon’ is like a beacon of light at the end of a dark tunnel and gives me a sense of better days to come. It’s a fantastic effort by the choir members hailing from both sides of the Solent and it makes me ‘proud to be Mountbatten’."