Join the Kerbside Carols Extravaganza

By Kerbside Carols - 25th November 2020

There’s a general sentiment that Christmas is needed more than ever right now so the Cornish team behind Kerbside Carols, in their typical fashion, are doing Christmas ‘with bells on’. And it seems there is definitely an appetite for acapella and a hunger for harmony this year as rehearsals get underway for the arrival of Cornwall’s Kerbside Carols this December. 

BBC Radio Cornwall has pledged its support for the musical campaign by turning it up every Thursday evening and even Lostwithiel’s local butcher is warming up his vocal cords for the Christmas chorus! 

The musical movement will be galvanising the streets of Cornwall in song every Thursday at 8pm in December. It will encourage people to holler in their hamlets, carol in their cul-de-sacs, bellow on their balconies and sing in their streets. And for homes that are not yet adorned in festive ‘decs’, the team has even created fabulous colouring in sheets to display from windows so all can lap up the lyrics and colour in the chorus – perfect for those who are self-isolating or at home with children. 

The festive initiative has been masterminded by two wonderful, hardworking women - Emma Mansfield and Michelle Nineham of Really Lovely Projects – a company which is renowned for producing and delivering outstanding live community singing events. 

The two ladies’ paths crossed in a choir several years ago and since then they have created a community interest company that is all about community and has been at the forefront of massive singing and community projects in Cornwall. Today, these creative ladies are working hard during lockdown 2 to promote chorus this Christmas which is already being very warmly received. 

Emma Mansfield said, “Our lives have been changed enormously through singing together. Our work and mission have been massively changed due to COVID-19 but our role in our community remains strong and consistent. Our current Kerbside Carols project was inspired by the Clap for Carers campaign and in the same way we want to get people into the streets, but this time singing some well-known carols and Christmas songs.”

Emma continued, “The carols we have chosen are well-known and we are driving people to a Facebook live feed so they can just plug into us to play it out and sing along. Or they can simply tune into BBC Radio Cornwall to get a cheery Christmas singing moment in their homes, care homes or work places once a week. We have especially arranged all the songs and carols in a certain key so most people can sing them - without having to wear extra tight pants to get the high notes!”

Every Thursday evening during December from 8pm until Christmas Day, the team will lead three popular carols with live accompaniment, followed by a short reading or poem to celebrate the arrival of the festive season. Enthusiastic singers and their families will be able to join a rehearsal on Facebook Live at 4pm on the preceding Sunday each week. They will have the chance to explore some harmonies and sing at home, gaining confidence to galvanise their neighbourhood. The arrangements are light and fun and created in the spirit of getting everyone singing safely in their streets so, just like Clap for Carers, they can make a noise and connect with their neighbours feeling togetherness but staying safely apart. 

If people are reluctant to sing in public or a suffering from stage fright, there are still ways of getting involved. they can put a sound speaker system outside playing the ready-made tracks from BBC Radio Cornwall or plug into the Kerbside Carols Facebook page to play the feed out loud and proud. For those who are keen to perform, there are some wonderful sing along videos for people to practise with at home and the Facebook page is brimming with fabulous encouragement: https://www.facebook.com/kerbsidecarols/ 

Cornwall Music Education Hub is supporting Kerbside Carols by offering free, online school singing sessions which will take place on Friday afternoons across Cornwall. Singing leader Emma Mansfield will be holding these live sessions and schools will be able to access to sing-along carol films (karaoke style) as well as learning resources.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to be involved in this initiative. The live events and details can be accessed at www.facebook.com/Kerbsidecarols. The Kerbside Carols events will take place from 8pm on Thursdays 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th December. Rehearsal sessions will take place from 4pm on Sundays 29th November and 6th, 13th and 20th December. The Schools Sessions will take place from 2pm on Fridays 27th November and 4th, 11th and 18th December.

The carols we have chosen are well-known and we are driving people to a Facebook live feed so they can just plug into us to play it out and sing along. Or they can simply tune into BBC Radio Cornwall to get a cheery Christmas singing moment in their homes, care homes or work places once a week. We have especially arranged all the songs and carols in a certain key so most people can sing them - without having to wear extra tight pants to get the high notes!

- Emma Mansfield, Kerbside Carols
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