Stars of stage and screen came together to support the UK’s largest music therapy charity at Nordoff Robbins’ annual Christmas Carol Concert, held at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, London. But for those who couldn’t attend the church, a special online streamed concert, proudly supported by Hipgnosis Songs – with performances from stars around the world including Shakira, Eurythmics Songbook featuring David A. Stewart, with special guest Beverley Knight, Lindsey Buckingham, Enrique Iglesias and Nile Rodgers & CHIC, as well as performances from the charity’s award-winning show from last year including Neil Young and Robbie Williams – will be hosted by Nile Rodgers on Sunday 19th December at 7pm.
The events will raise vital funds for the charity, helping it to continue to use the power of music to enrich the lives of people in the UK affected by life-limiting physical and mental illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation.
More than 800 people attended the fundraising concert and were treated to a fun-filled evening including a sensational performance by Sir Rod Stewart that included his global smash hit single ‘Have I Told You Lately’ and the festive favourite ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ as well as a moving duet of ‘Grace’ with Irish singer songwriter Imelda May. Imelda also performed her poem ‘Home’ and hit ‘Don’t Let Me Stand On My Own’. Sir Rod then brought the evening to an incredible close with an impromptu version of “Shake, Rattle And Roll”
Chart-topping saxophonist and presenter Jess Gillam performed Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence following readings by The Wire’s Clarke Peters (The Journey of the Magi by T.S. Eliot) Star Trek’s Alice Eve (The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy) and Impressionist Rory Bremner (King John’s Christmas by A.A Milne).
Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins welcomed the audience, then children from Latymer Prep School Choir performed hymns including Once in Royal David’s City, Silent Night and O’ Little Town of Bethlehem while the congregation enthusiastically joined in.
And this Sunday, Nordoff Robbins is offering music lovers around the UK (and the world) the opportunity to come together to experience the Christmas magic by watching ‘The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas 2021’, proudly supported by 3.Hipgnosis Songs and hosted by the iconic Nile Rodgers. The free-to-view streamed concert will feature the carols and readings from St Luke’s Church along with additional performances from Shakira, Tony Bennett, Eurythmics Songbook featuring David A. Stewart, Lindsey Buckingham, Enrique Iglesias, Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Robbie Williams, which fans can access at 7pm GMT on Sunday 19th December via carols.nordoff-robbins.org.uk.
Donations are encouraged throughout this very special festive evening to enable Nordoff Robbins’ dedicated music therapists to support those who need it most to experience the joy and power of music – helping communication and reducing isolation.
Nordoff Robbins believes in the value of music for all people in society. The charity’s trained music therapists work with children and adults affected by life limiting illness such as dementia, learning disabilities including Autism, physical disability and mental health issues. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists helped the lives of 5,782 individuals throughout the year and the charity aims to increase this number in 2022.
Sir Rod Stewart said: “Christmas is a special time and I’m thrilled to be sharing the seasonal joy in person at this year’s Nordoff Robbins Carol Service. Everyone can thrive through the power of music and that’s why Nordoff Robbins’ work is so important to me. Every music therapy session at Nordoff Robbins is unique because every person is unique. The charity’s trained music therapists understand that music evokes different reactions and responses in people who may not otherwise be able to connect with the world – and for many, can simply be life changing. I’m looking forward to treating fans to a festive night like no other – and asking you to give what you can to ensure this important work continues.”
Tony Bennett said: “The holidays are my favorite as it’s a time when everyone makes the effort to show their appreciation for the people and organizations that make the world better. I am thrilled to be performing at The Nordoff Robbins Concert to support the enrichment they provide to those in need through the power of music – each and every day.”
Nile Rodgers said: “Get together with family and friends and settle down for a musical treat on Sunday 19th December at 7pm from the comfort of your own sofa for Christmas carols with a difference as The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas 2021 – to help raise vital funds for a whole range of people who need it most, including children with autism who rely on music therapy for a sense of connection and those affected by life-limiting illnesses or disability.”
“Nordoff Robbins believes in the value of music for all people in our society – which is why it’s so close to my heart. I understand the power of music and have witnessed how music therapy can connect people who may otherwise feel isolated or disconnected from the world. It’s the universal values that we can all express through music that brings us together in a unique way. I’m honoured to be hosting this special online concert for the second year running, bringing together some of my friends from the music world, including one of my favourites – Sir Rod Stewart – who feel just as passionately as I do about the important work of Nordoff Robbins.”