Music Declares Emergency urges people to ‘Sing The Change’

As world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for the COP26 summit, Music Declares Emergency, the campaign group, is ramping up its efforts to remind governments of the need for urgent action to protect the planet.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 4:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 7:08 pm
The Kingdom Choir has recorded a single for Music Declares Emergency's #SingTheChange campaign. Picture: Andrew Whitton

This week sees the release of a single, What a Wonderful World, featuring The Kingdom Choir and The BRIT School Choir, while on October 30 at noon Music Declares Emergency is encouraging everyone to #SingTheChange at events across the country.

As well as three mass singing events in Glasgow, London and Liverpool, hundreds of choirs and singing groups will host their own performances, both virtual and physical in a nationwide coming together of voices.

For those unable to make it to an event, the group is encouraging everyone to come together and create their own moment.

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“Whether it’s in the town square, the church hall, the skate park, or your own front room, we are inviting everyone to join in for a moment of national unity and celebration in support of the amazing planet we live on and the joy that our natural world brings us every day,” they say.

“Music is a great way of reminding everyone of their part in this,” says campaign co-founder Lewis Jamieson, who also runs the music PR company Loudhailer Press. “It’s really important to us that people feel part of this conversation. Everybody’s opinion on it and everybody’s experience is important because it affects everyone in some way.

“Those who live in the Calder Valley, around about Hebden Bridge way, they’ll know about it because they probably baled out their houses during the flooding. Yorkshire Post readers in Bradford might know about it because their bus services don’t join up – it’s a hot issue there because it’s really hard to use public transport.

“This conversation isn’t just about temperature, it’s about public transport, food, housing, everything really. It’s about how we live and the impact it has on the planet we live on, and everybody’s experience is part of that.

“We must make sure when we make changes everyone feels like they’ve had a say in it and everyone is involved. That’s at the core of what Sing The Change is about, having a voice.

“But also it won’t just be about going and singing, it will be about posting what you do (on social media). Also if people want to get involved in their local area, what’s happening there and what would you like to see changed, which natural area would you like to see preserved or improved. We want to get an idea of the feelings of everyone around climate.”

More than 4,000 musicians and industry professionals have already signed the Music Declares Emergency declaration on the group’s website, www.musicdeclares.net, and Jamieson, a former student at Leeds University who also organised publicity for Leeds Festival for several years, is hoping more will follow suit.

Singers taking part in this weekend’s events can also download the parts and the sheet music on the website.

Jamieson says the campaign is not simply focused on pressuring politicians. “It’s more about encouraging people to get involved,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any debate in British politics about whether we need to do something about this, everyone’s on the same page.

“It’s more about encouraging everyone to see the positivity of what we can do, and the positivity of the possible future with things that we’re suggesting we can do to avert climate breakdown, so we’ll definitely be doing more.

“Around Earth Day next year we’ll be doing a lot of public events. We want to get to everyone and for talking about the climate to be a mainstream thing. We want people to feel confident to have an opinion on this and be part of the conversation.”

For further details visit www.musicdeclares.net/sing