A young opera singer from Market Harborough has got a song in her heart and a spring in her step after turning her Covid lockdown choir into a huge hit.
Liv Slatter, 23, has bravely conquered her own daunting challenges during the 13-month coronavirus pandemic to bring over 100 people together from all over Leicestershire.
And she has helped to mould and shape her very own choir – starring singers aged from five to 90 – as they have cut their own stunning version of Michael Jackson’s iconic epic Heal The World.
“I’m so pleased and proud of what we have all done with our lockdown choir.
“It’s been such a joy to do and it’s become a massive success story,” thrilled Liv told the Harborough Mail.
“I launched it last autumn and it’s just taken off ever since and gone into orbit.
“More than 100 people from Market Harborough and right across Leicestershire have come forward and got in touch to join us.
“It’s been such a fantastic thing to do.
“We’ve had an amazing response as so many girls and women, as well as a handful of young guys and men, have got involved.
“And every one of these lovely people have got their own highly personal story to tell during this terrible time for all of us,” said Liv, who’s been backed by a £5,000 National Lottery grant.
“One lady told me she was struggling badly with her mental health as she couldn’t get out and live her normal life.
“Joining our lockdown choir helped her to get back into her daily routine and feel so much better for it.
“It’s been so magical to attract people of all ages – right across an incredible 85-year age range!
“Our youngest singer was just five years old – and our oldest was the grand old age of 90.
“And they have all loved it to bits.
“We have had online vocal lessons at least once every week from top coach Tracey Holderness.
“The singing has been sensational but getting together every week has also given us all vital group therapy sessions we’ve all enjoyed and looked forward to.
“We’ve all told each other how we are feeling as we’ve battled to cope – and we’ve shared our own life experiences and stories.
“The coronavirus lockdowns have been so suffocating and so isolating,” said Liv, who smiles as she recalls an unforgettable freezing picnic in the park with her family in the snow.
“Being able to meet up virtually regularly and to sing our song has been a real lifesaver for us all.
“It’s brought people out of their shell and out of their comfort zone as well as making other people happy.
“I’ve recently been diagnosed as autistic and singing along with performing in public has helped my speech as well as my character and personality.
“Helping to get our choir off the ground and make it such a resounding success has fired up my self-confidence and self-esteem no end,” said Liv, a bubbly, sunny young woman with a supercharged sense of enthusiasm and desire to help others.
“We are hoping to release our very own version of Heal The World and will be sending all of our singers a CD – it’s the least they deserve.
“I’m also going to try to secure more support from the National Lottery so we can launch another exciting venture with our unique lockdown choir in 2021.”
Not content with teaching Harborough to sing, Liv is also throwing her weight behind the district’s highly-valued Jubilee Foodbank.
“I’m setting out to raise £100 to buy food for the foodbank.
“The Jubilee people do some excellent work helping to feed struggling families in Market Harborough and beyond.
“They throw a critical lifeline to people finding it hard to get by day to day and I’ve helped them out before,” said Liv.
“I’ve still got a few lockdown choir T-shirts I’m selling at £10 each – and all proceeds will go to the foodbank.
“The foodbank does a magnificent job and I’d really appreciate any donations you can give me.”
You can listen to Liv’s choir’s remarkable Heal The World here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/t4nLEfa47hwAnd you can support her Jubilee Foodbank appeal here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/olivia-slatter