June 11th 2021: Live Public Premiere of Sir Tim Rice’s Gee Seven at June 12th G7 Concert in Truro Cathedral: in person and to be streamed from Truro around the world
On June 9th, as G7 leaders converged on Cornwall, well over 1,000 children across 14 timezones met to sing on a Sing2G7 Mega Zoom led by Truro Cathedral’s choristers, singing together Gee Seven, the song written specially for the project by Sir Tim Rice. Beaming out from Truro Cathedral the young singers included those in Toronto and Illinois who’d got up at the crack of dawn as well as children in Tokyo who had stayed up especially late to take part in the global online musical bonanza.
Christopher Gray, Director of Music at Truro Cathedral taught international singers across the Zoom call. The Cornish Choristers who have inspired 25,000 children to sing to G7 on world issues close to their hearts then passed the leadership baton from country to country, with choirs and soloists across the globe leading the whole chorus at different moments. One of the most moving moments came when ten year old Japanese girl Rosa who has been been in strictest lockdown since the project launched at the end of April, led the world, singing the final chorus with its poignant challenge to world leaders to take their responsibility to the rest of the world seriously:
‘Gee Seven – let nation speak to nation
Gee Seven – don’t let the others down
Gee Seven – don’t forget the not so fortunate
Gee Seven – or we’ll run you out of town’
Sam, a young chorister from Toronto Children’s Chorus who led the global chorus at one point in the Zoom said, ‘It’s been really inspiring that we’ve been able to do this, just to have everyone from fourteen time zones come on Zoom and sing one song that was written for us. So I think that’s really cool.’
Banele who helps lead Khayelitsha Children’s Choir, in Khayelitsha Township, Cape Town, South Africa said, ‘It’s so rare to be communicating with people from around the world. It doesn’t happen every day. The children were thrilled to be part of the Zoom.’
The Mega Zoom was well attended by schools all over the UK, from Northampton to Guildford, Manchester to York as well as by many of the 80+ Cornish schools involved in the Sing2g7 project. Jess, 11, Crowan School, Cornwall said, ‘I really liked today because everyone all around the world was here and it’s really nice to see everyone.’
Co-founder of Sing2G7, Esmé Page said, ‘It was so moving to see children right across the world joining in song and to witness their courage in leading each other in a global chorus - sometimes even as soloists. It was such an encouragement to them to hear personal messages from Gordon Brown and leaders such as the Bishop of Europe and Sophie Daud who clearly recognise the strength of leadership blossoming in this pre-Z generation. Let’s see if any of the G7 leaders themselves will take time to pay tribute to the 25,0000 children worldwide who’ve made such an effort to learn about G7’s agenda and to speak and sing their mind on world issues. I hope their talks are as harmonious as the children’s singing - it won’t be long, I think, before these youngsters are filling their leadership shoes!’
Christopher Gray, Director of Music, Truro Cathedral and Co-founder of Sing2G7 said, ’It’s always special when we bring people together in song, but it was particularly emotional to see technology allowing people from all over the world to unite on this scale. The song by Tim Rice and Peter Hobbs and the message of Sing2G7 have clearly chimed with children from many cultures who are facing quite different Covid challenges. It made me think of John Dryden’s words from the seventeenth century which are no less true today: “Music for a while shall all your cares beguile.”
Sir Tim Rice was present throughout the Zoom, and took a Q&A session at the end, fielding questions from youngsters around the world. Besides this the children watched personal messages of encouragement from Gordon Brown, UN Envoy for Education and former UK Prime Minister, The Bishop of Europe and Sophie Daud, CEO Y7/Future Leaders Network.
Bishop Robert Innes, Bishop of Europe said, ‘I am so excited to see 25,000 children from 27 countries unite together in song through Sing2G7. I want to encourage you in your efforts to urge G7 leaders to take bold decisive steps this weekend to care of everyone in the world and to look after our planet. Today, when you are singing ‘let nation speak to nation’ and ‘don’t let the others down’ please know that you are already leading. You are courageous advocates that can help to change our world for the better. It is my sincere prayer that the G7 leaders are listening to your words of wisdom. You have all started on you leadership journey and I want to encourage you to continue to make a real difference in the world as you grow up.’
Co-founders of the volunteer-led project, Christopher Gray, Director of Music at Truro Cathedral and Esme Page (Founder Cornwall Hugs) led the Zoom which attracted no less than four TV crews to the cathedral from where it beamed across the world.
The public can join the Sing2G7 excitement by attending the G7 concert on June 12th 7.30pm by Truro Cathedral Choir either in person or STREAMED online. It will feature the 'Gee Seven' song and also accessible music from all of the G7 countries in their own language, with favourites such as Danny Boy (Ireland) and Shenandoah (US) together with musical gems by Brahms, Fauré as well as local folksong arrangements such as Sakura (Japan). Tickets are available via the Truro Cathedral website. The concert will be live-streamed on Truro Cathedral’s Youtube account.
Where are people singing?
The 25000 young singers involved in Sing2G7 have joined from the following: Alaska, Antigua, Belgium, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Malawi, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Scotland, Selangor, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam, Wales.
Press Contact: Esme Page firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sing2G7.org,
Sing2G7 is a concept created jointly by Chris Gray (Director of Music, Truro Cathedral) and Esmé Page (Founder, Cornwall Hugs Grenfell). It is an international children’s engagement programme prompted by UK’s hosting of the G72021 and grew out of the suggestion, ‘Imagine if we could put children’s voices at the heart of G7 and make the summit relevant to their young lives.’ a the centre of the initiative is a song, ‘Gee Seven’, written for the project by Tim Rice, Patron of Truro Cathedral Choir, with music by Peter Hobbs in an arrangement by Joseph Wicks.
Through the song and its moving youtube video, the 35 choristers aged 8-18 have inspired children around the world to unite and ‘sing to G7!’ with a strong message, urging them to take full responsibility for the rest of the world. So far over 25,000 voices are singing the song in 27 countries. Singers are posting recordings and videos under #Sing2G7, aiming to make the musical message of this pre-Z generation un-ignorable to world leaders.
The song is released as a single on all digital platforms with the choir’s royalties going to Unicef’s ‘Give the World a Shot’ VaccinAid campaign through Crowdfunder.
The song’s video was created by a pro bono professional team. Sing2G7 is volunteer led, with Vicky Garner (www.garnerandtonic.co.uk)and Sarah McLachlan working closely with Chris Gray and Esmé Page.
Sing2G7 sits on its own website, www.sing2g7.org, where free music resources and an extensive 16 module Education Pack for primary schools is hosted, created by Truro School, Sing2G7, Kensa and South West Water.
Sing2G7 Partners are Truro Cathedral, Truro School, Cornwall Music Service Trust, Cornwall Council, The Diocese of Truro, Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station and Future Leaders Network.