Carol service raises funds for music therapy

Nordoff Robbins’ annual carol service featured a host of very special guests, with readings from the ever-joyous Rory Bremner, Dame Eileen Atkins, Anna Maxwell Martin, David Gyasi and festive performances from Izzy Bizu, Esther Yoo and The British Collective.

The event, held at St. Luke’s Church in Chelsea on 12 December, began with a heartfelt welcome from the Reverend Emma Smith, before Director of Music Services Simon Procter spoke on the impact and reach of our music therapy, as well as the importance of funding to enable us to continue our work. We were also lucky enough to be joined by pupils from the Latymer Prep School, who sang a selection of festive favourites including Once in Royal David’s City.

There was an exclusive performance from singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu, who since being shortlisted for a 2015 BRIT’s Critic’s Choice Award has gone from strength to strength, supporting Sam Smith, Rudimental and Foxes on their latest UK tours and picking up the coveted BBC Music Introducing Award at the 2016 ceremony. Joining Izzy was violinist Esther Yoo, the first ever Artist-in-Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, who has taken the classical scene by storm. Also treating guests to a special set were the ‘Godfathers of UK Soul’ The British Collective.

The congregation joined in for festive carols including God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and following the service mince pies and mulled wine were shared with guests.  

Esther Yoo said: “Music plays a great part in our lives, and as we saw tonight, there were so many fantastic performers and instrumentalists, as well as singers and choirs – and it’s just fantastic to bring all those great musicians together to create this wonderful evening.” 

The carol service raised vital funds for music therapy, which will enable Nordoff Robbins to continue our life-changing work and support vulnerable and isolated people across the UK. We are very grateful to everyone who contributed to make this such a wonderful evening, and particular thanks go to sponsors Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, who recently acquired Hargreave Hale – a long standing supporter of Nordoff Robbins, and were thrilled to continue this tradition with their support of this year’s service. 

We’ve shared filmed performances from the evening on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, so check them out for some festive favourites to get you in the Christmas spirit.