By PHILIP CHANDLER
Could it become Queenstown’s lockdown anthem?
In an amazing video collaboration, local choir Southern Soul posted American singer-songwriter Andra Day’s stirring song, Rise Up, on its Facebook page, on Tuesday night.
And by this afternoon it had generated about 4800 views – and rising.
The choir, only formed six months ago, originally sang the song for a local Cancer Society ball last November.
“I just thought it was a really powerful song with the perfect kind of message for that particular concert,” choral director Natasha Wilson says, “and now, more than ever, it just seems to be so appropriate.
“We’ve all got to rise up to the challenge that the whole world is facing.
“A lot if us have got family all around the world and it’s just a really difficult time for everybody.
“But we always find that, singing together, it’s just so uplifting and always makes us feel better.”
Of course, with everyone house-bound during the Covid-19-induced lockdown, getting the choir to perform in unison was quite a challenge.
All 14 singers video-recorded themselves in front of a laptop, with piano accompaniment by Liz Green in their ears.
One singer, Sarah Cannon, who’d gone to the UK to visit her family before the lockdown, even sent her recording from the other side of the world.
The recordings were then put together by choir member David Oakley, who’s also a videographer.
“It’s a really weird, awkward concept when you’re doing it on your own,” Wilson says, “but then to see it all put together like this was really moving.
“We were all kind of really emotional when we saw the finished product.”
Wilson says, for her singers, performing Rise Up was “like our therapy”.
“Although we can’t sing together and have that energy of all being together, doing it this way has just made us all feel so kind of invigorated and positive.”