A Torbay NHS worker features in tonight’s The Choir: Singing for Britain presented and coached by Choir Master Gareth Malone.
Liam Meyer not only sings well but also wrote a song, unofficially called ‘Skimming Stones’, for the show which he performs along with other pandemic key workers.
The programme is the third of three aimed at ‘bringing the nation together through music’.
Liam, a Torbay and South Devon Foundation NHS Trust videographer, features in recognition of work in setting up an online support group called Alone Together after his dad David died of Covid-19 – aimed at providing mutual support to other grieving people which is supporting more than 500 people across the world.
Liam said: “I don’t think we ever officially named the song but unofficially it has the title ‘Skimming Stones’.
“Initially I saw The Choir as a way of honouring my dad further and also a way to promote Alone Together. It has definitely done this but unexpectedly it has also been like therapy for me, a way to express how I feel and also acknowledge how I feel.
“The Choir has also reignited my passion for music again that I lost when I split from my band over five years ago.
“The band was fairly successful after being championed by BBC Music Introducing and it played a big part in my life, so it left a huge hole when that ended.”
He added: “Filming the show was very much like the grief I’m feeling after losing dad, it was a mix of emotions - full of laughter, tears, excitement and nerves, and every day was different.
“It was very tiring at times though with working and keeping on top of the support network at the same time, but the production team were great at working around me.
“I forgot how much music means to me, it’s a way to heal, a way to express and a way to remember.”
Since lockdown began, Gareth Malone has been inspiring thousands to sing-along from the safety of their sofas via his daily online Home Chorus sessions.
He has brought together members of the chorus from all over the country to create and perform tracks to represent how Britain is feeling during this unique moment in time.
Faced with the array of practical and technical challenges that comes with lockdown and social distancing has not been easy. Gareth converted a studio space in the bottom of his garden with the latest video and communications equipment to enable him to compose and rehearse tracks with members of the public without the usual time delay.
In each episode, Gareth meets different groups of people, from frontline doctors and nurses to key workers and school children to those having to shield.
Working together, Gareth helped them write and perform songs that chronicle their experience in this life-changing moment in history.
As the musical process progressed, he held virtual rehearsals and song-writing sessions with people all over Britain, weaving together their ideas to ultimately create one song that everyone can sing.
Despite the technical struggles and distancing rules, he has helped create a once-in-a-generation musical experience by helping people find their voice and doing his bit to bring Britain together.