A free Christmas concert will be held at Liverpool Lighthouse to share the songs sung at the Hillsborough Memorial Services.
The Liverpool Lighthouse Community Choir will perform soothing songs and hymns that were sung at the Hillsborough Memorial Services over the last twenty years on Saturday 4 December at 4pm. The songs were chosen to remember loved ones and uplift as songs of healing.
After over twenty years of Love and Joy Gospel choir singing at the Hillsborough Memorial Services, a choir was established during lockdown to rehearse and record the music sung by them.
Liverpool Lighthouse formed the Liverpool Lighthouse Community Choir during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal was to connect the community through singing, to help people stay well through lockdown. The choir involves both members of Love and Joy Gospel Choir as well as members with a connection to Hillsborough, the choir met on zoom through the pandemic and then came together to record the songs at Liverpool Lighthouse in the summer.
Songs of Healing Concert is a gift to the Hillsborough families and friends who were not able to have a Memorial Service this year ahead of releasing Wind Beneath My Wings on December 10 as a song of healing to share with the nation.
The choir has been led by Anu Omideyi who leads the award winning The Reapers choir and has had hits in the gospel charts. Anu said: “This community choir is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring choirs I’ve worked with. We met online, rehearsed online and came together as new friends and family to record during a pandemic.
“Some members have personal connections to the Hillsborough disaster having been there, or anxiously waited for loved ones to return home that day or connected to someone who lost their lives. Others joined the choir because it meant much to them for personal reasons (including combating loneliness during the pandemic) but amongst all there is a special sense of purpose, community, friendship and the overwhelming desire to pass these on to listeners everywhere.”
Jenni Hicks, who lost her two daughters and was vice chair of the former Hillsborough Families Support Group asked Love and Joy Gospel choir to sing at the Hillsborough Memorial Services, which is the start of the story of the music which led to 20 years of songs at the memorial services and then this concert for the Hillsborough families and release of the song for the nation.
Jenni said: “It is such a positive, inspirational and beautiful way of bringing communities together during lockdown through the songs and hymns the Love and Joy gospel choir sang at the Hillsborough Memorial services over many years.”
Members of the choir have direct links and experience with the disaster including a man who went with his best friend who didn’t come home and he still has the ticket and a 16-year-old girl who mum’s best friend was killed at Hillsborough.
Rebecca Ross-Williams, the new creative director of Liverpool Lighthouse said: “It’s really quite wonderful for the music from the Hillsborough Memorial Services to have a legacy. In response to grief and sadness they were chosen to remember love ones to uplift and instill hope. They were songs of healing in effect! And now when so many people are facing such hardship and loss, especially this Christmas, they can be shared with the nation.
“This Christmas we are honoured that Hillsborough families are joining us at Liverpool Lighthouse so we can share the songs with them as a gift. Our hearts desire is that in releasing the single Wind Beneath My Wings, it reaches every corner of the land to touch the hearts of many.”
Free tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/songs-of-healingconcert-from-hillsborough-memorial-services-tickets-206288302867