The Missing People Choir on Britain’s Got Talent 2017

The Missing People Choir

The Missing People Choir was created in June 2014 by James Hawkins Music and the charity Missing People for those who have had someone missing in their lives.

Most recently James was proud to have prepared and directed the choir’s Britain’s Got Talent audition on the London Palladium stage. Read how Simon Cowell tips them as a favourite in the competition.

James says, “When the choir auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent they weren’t nervous at all; it was just like any other performance because for them it is not about winning or losing a competition. They are singing for a reason, to reach out to a loved one.”

The first episode of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent was on ITV on Saturday 15th April 2017.

You can read more about The Missing People Choir here. 

The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack, The Living Years

Jim conducting the tenors for The Living Years at Abbey Road Studios

Last Christmas James Hawkins Music project-managed and produced The Living Years by the London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack. Film maker Rav Vagdama has created this short film about the making of the song.

Watch here:

We brought together a specially created choir of 300 patients, families, staff and volunteers of all ages from 18 hospices across London with Paul Carrack, the song’s original singer. The song was released at Christmas 2016 to raise awareness and vital funds for the hospices, and stayed at the top of the Official Physical Sales Chart for two weeks.

BA Robertson, the writer of The Living Years, highly commended the new version saying that the vocal was “better than the original”.

Say It In The Living Years artwork

This beautiful song is still available to download here.

HMV (Physical CD)

Amazon (Physical CD)

Amazon (Digital)

iTunes

Lead vocalist, Paul Carrack, said, “The Living Years has been an important song for me for many years, but this is the version that means the most. Recording it with this incredibly special group of people for such a worthwhile cause has created some kind of magic. It’s a powerful and inspiring track, and I hope that everyone gets behind it this Christmas.”

 

Press Enquiries: jameshawkinsmusic.pr@gmail.com

Choral Production at Abbey Road Studios

Super pleased with the outcome of today! I was asked to assemble and direct a mixed choir of amateur and professional voices to record at Abbey Road Studios for artist Fox Amoore, on his latest album The Dreamcatcher. The singers recorded five album tracks and made the day smooth and inspiring with their smiling and professional attitude. Feedback from the composer was that he was moved by the powerful and beautiful sound we produced.

The singers all did themselves proud and here is a short snippet of a take from today’s session.

I am looking forward to more of the same, especially with my own Eclipse Choir. Well done guys!

Feature in the Musician’s Union Magazine Winter 2016

It’s a real pleasure to be interviewed about how to set up and lead a choir by the MU. And I’m pleased to be able to give some insight as to how I approach teaching and developing my choirs.

Check out Eclipse Choir to see more of our progress since it was formed in 2014. And this year we’re delighted to be performing at the beautiful All Saints Church for our Christmas Concert on Thursday 22nd December. At present there are still some tickets available, but they are selling fast! Get in there now and book yours!

#iHope a new song with an incredible purpose

#iHope, though it hurt I will never turn away

We’re so pleased that today, 20th May, the new Missing People charity single ‪#‎iHope‬ is released to the world!

Jim co-wrote and produced the song with the aim of highlighting the stories of the Missing People families ahead of International Missing Children’s Day on Wednesday 25 May 2016.

It’s been more than three months of hard work and over 250 recordings of singers, choral groups and musicians brought together in Chocolate Box Studio. But moreover it’s truly been one of the most significant and moving projects Jim’s ever worked on.

You can now watch the full music video below. It is released today, so if you love the film, head to iTunes, Google Play or Amazon to buy the single, and support the charity to reach more of the 140,000 children who go missing every year.

In the video you’ll see The Missing People Choir joined by Royal Mail‘s Mail Voice Choir as well as music stars from across the decades including Chesney Hawkes, Rick Astley, Nik Kershaw, T’pau/Carol Decker, Lesley Garrett, G4 Official, Kerry Ellis, Jodie Prenger, Hayley Tamaddon, and BalsamoDeighton.

Huge thanks to the amazing Rav Vadgama who volunteered to produce this incredible video.

Buy it now:
iTunes – http://radi.al/IHope
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Missing-People-Choir-…/…/B01EXR1CZC
Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/music/album…

Please share!

Eclipse Choir Production

Eclipse Choir with Harp and Flute accompanying

I set up Eclipse Choir earlier this year to combine my love of working with live vocalists/musicians and being a music producer. I find I use the same fundamental principles for both roles and one strongly complements the other. In December we had our second big concert and it was a good demonstration of how bringing live, acoustic performance together with appropriate music technology and production can be really effective. I had budget enough to hire a cellist, harpist, flautist, guitarist, a double bass player and drummer and each played acoustically with no need for any sound reinforcement as the performance space had such a supportive acoustic. I filled in the gaps in accompaniment with elements from Spitfire+LASS’s string library, Omnisphere’s synth pads, 8Dio’s Epic Taiko Drums and snares, XLN’s Addictive Drums 2,  Ilya Efimov’s Duduk, Garritan’s CFX Concert grand, East West’s Symphonic Choirs and Play Orchestra, Air synths such as Loom.

This mixture of live and pre-recorded sound was awesome and it was such a buzz to conduct!

You can read more about Eclipse Choir and our Christmas concert here, and check out the brilliant photos of the event!

The Missing People Choir and Alice Gross’s song

The Missing People Choir with James Hawkins Directing

I’m extremely proud to have continued work with an amazing and strong group of people who come together to sing for their missing loved ones. The Missing People Choir is made up of family members and friends who have lost a loved one. They are the most significant group of voices I’ve ever worked with and what we create together goes way beyond just singing. There is real purpose, a strong message, a release of true and deeply felt emotion as every word being sung is fuelled with the hope of reaching a missing person, a missing loved one, son, daughter, sister, brother, child…. It really is a very special choir.

This year I was invited to create a vocal arrangement of Alice Gross’s song, Don’t Let It Go Away. The choir and I met six times to rehearse and prepare for the performance at St Martin in the Fields on December 7th at the Missing People Christmas Service. The service was extremely well attended and all the readings were especially poignant. Rosalind Hodgkiss, mother of Alice, who was found murdered in 2014, appeared on Good Morning Britain in December to talk about her daughter and how Missing People supported them in the weeks she was missing. You can watch it here.

The choir performed at a slightly smaller service at York Minster the following week where they sang both Alice’s song and last year’s song, I Miss You, and the message was as strong as it was in London. Heart breaking. You can read more about the song I Miss You and our journey to write and record it here.

If you would like to support the Missing People Charity then please follow the link and purchase the song here

Men of the Missing People Choir in 2015

Missing People Choir ladies 2015

Jim Hawkins Choir Director

More wonderful photos of the choir singing together this November are here. Many thanks to Caroline Jones Photography for her marvellous work.

The Official Video “Don’t Let It Go Away”

Vocal Technique Workshop

Vocal Technique Workshop Banner

Limited Spaces Available

Vocal Technique Workshop

Saturday 20th June 2015

1.00-7.00pm

VENUE

St John the Evangelist,
Grove Lane,
Kingston upon Thames,
KT1 2SU

(Scroll down for map).

A special opportunity to join a unique Singing Workshop

This workshop will be focused on breathing technique, rounding sound, vocal health and how to ‘belt’. The day will be led by two professional singing teachers and singers in their own right, and will be split into two halves, the first part being taught from the classical tradition and the second from the Estill Model of voice training.

This workshop was organised by Eclipse Choir, which was set up by Jim Hawkins in April 2015. There are 20 spaces available to non-choir members. It is going to be a very informative and useful training day and beneficial to all singers who are looking to improve singing technique and understand more about how our voices work.

TICKETS

Adults £30 for the day

The Beach Boys All Singers Workshop

All Singers Saturday Workshop

Learn songs by The Beach Boys with live band

Saturday 8th August

10:00am–6.00pm

VENUE

Normansfield Theatre
2A Langdon Park
Teddington TW11 9PS

All singers are welcome

Join us for Jim's Summer Fun Workshop, where we'll be learning Beach Boys songs in four-part harmony. Plus for extra buzz we'll be singing with a live band accompaniment, and Jim will make a recording available after the day.

TICKETS

Adults £35
Children £20 (under 15)

Beach Boys Workshop
My highlights were the great atmosphere throughout the day… Good to use a score and be taught more about music theory… The band… Jim’s sense of humour and energy. The free pencil – obviously!” Testimonial from The Beatles Workshop in 2014

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • You'll receive musical scores in advance for the songs.
  • Jim will be teaching a Beach Boys hits medley including In A Room, Fun, Fun, Fun, California Girls and also God Only Knows. They will be arranged in four-part harmony (SATB).
  • We'll provide tea and coffee for refreshments on arrival
  • There will be an hour for you to go off site and enjoy lunch
  • After we've learned the second song we will have a break before returning for the exciting part where we will perform the songs with a live band playing.
  • There will be also be a 'free' singalong time near the end of the day where we can enjoy singing our favourite songs with the band.
  • Jim will make available a live recording from the day after the workshop (for personal use only).

TIMINGS

Doors open at 10am and welcome refreshments

10:30-12:30 Song 1

13:30-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-16:30 Song 2

16:30-18:00 Live band, recording and singalong!

Travel info

The Normansfield Theatre is within The Langdon Park Centre off Normansfield Avenue. There is good parking available at the venue and on nearby streets. Please check TFL for the best public transport routes for you to the venue. Postcode: TW11 9PS.