CAPTION: Children from Ipplepen Youth Choir sang and played instruments for the lockdown-inspired song

Devon Children’s Song of Hope Included in National Pandemic Archive

Posted: 15th June, 2021

A modern folk song written and performed by the youth choir of a Devon church has been included in a national collection of songs inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rainbow of Hope has also raised more than £1000 for the local Rowcroft Hospice.

The song was recorded by the nine children who make up the choir and band of St Andrew’s, Ipplepen, in Spring 2020. They were aged from seven to 12.

The choir members each recorded their parts remotely due to lockdown restrictions.

With coronavirus restrictions still in place more than a year on, the lyrics still resonate now: “These are strange times, we can pull together. There’s a rainbow of hope watching over us all.”

The song was edited together by Ipplepen’s choirmaster, Dr Tom Morris. He said, “Looking back now, it’s extraordinary. I would never have guessed when we wrote it that we would still be in this situation.

“It brings it all back to where we were this time last year in lockdown. Fortunately in the South West we’ve got beautiful scenery around us and we can take a step back from our busy lives and pay more attention to what’s around us, and that inspired the song.”

Rainbow of Hope was composed and recorded remotely in just six weeks. The choir wanted to focus on the positive aspects of lockdown and their unique experiences and many of them are shown in the accompanying video.

It was chosen to feature in A Song For Us, a national music project to mark the historic time we are all living through. It features songs from each county in England.

Dr. Tom Morris recording his parts of the song

Tom said, “Our song is a record of what the children were experiencing and feeling at the time.

“That’s what folk songs are all about, you look back years later and it tells you what was felt at the time. So it’s got all the stuff about people going down to the bottom of their roads and clapping for the NHS and all the support services.

“It was all those little snippets from lockdown and how they felt inspired by nature.”

The choir decided to use ‘Rainbow of Hope’ as a fundraising opportunity and set up a JustGiving page for Rowcroft Hospice. They reached their target of £1000 in just two weeks. People are still able to donate via the page.

Katie, one of choir members said: “It’s great that we have hit our target and it’s for such a good cause.” Isabelle said: “I enjoy listening to it now we’ve finished it, even though recording it was quite
hard. It’s really good to be supporting Rowcroft.”

Tom said: “It inspires me to know that we can do a lot more with this choir, we’re still only 9 members and they haven’t sung in front of an audience since December 2019 but the congregation at Ipplepen are desperate to hear them!”

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