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. 

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”

Bromley Beach Boys Workshop!

All Singers Saturday Workshop

Learn songs by The Beach Boys with live band returns!

Saturday 17th October

9:45am–4:30pm

VENUE

Whitfield Hall
Bromley United Reformed Church
20 Widmore Road
Bromley
Kent, BR1 1RY

All singers are welcome

Due to popular demand, there will be a second Beach Boys Workshop in Bromley this autumn. Hurray you say! Join us and you will learn 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 16)

beach-boys-workshop6

Feedback from the last Beach Boys Workshop in August

What a fabulous day! Adore Beach Boys music, such a thrill to sing those harmonies. Thanks Jim for best ever Workshop! Chris Hill
Thanks so much Jim Hawkins for an awesome day of Beach Boys harmonies. I absolutely loved every second of it. They are geniuses and so are you 🙂 Emma Tracey
Yes I totally loved it too and so good to get 4 songs for the price of 1 in the medley - looking forward to the gospel! Alison Dawson

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 in the second session God Only Knows. They will be arranged in four-part harmony (SATB).
  • We'll provide tea and coffee for refreshments on arrival and during the breaks
  • There will be an hour for you to go off site and enjoy lunch, or you may bring a packed lunch with you if you prefer. There is a kitchen on site for our use.
  • We will learn the Beach Boys medley in the morning, excitingly to perform it with the band before lunch
  • After lunch we'll return to learn God Only Knows, which Jim will then record!
  • Jim will make available the best live recording from the day after the workshop (for personal use only).

TIMINGS

Doors open at 9:45am and welcome refreshments

10:15-12:45 Warm up and session 1 with band, including break

12:45-13:45 Lunch Break

13:45-16:15 Session 2 including recording!

16:15-17:00 Warm down and departure

Travel info

The Bromley United Reformed Church is in the centre of Bromley, extremely close to multiple bus routes and the railway station. There isn't any parking available at the venue, but The Glades car park is adjacent should you choose to drive. Please check TFL for the best public transport routes for you to the venue. Postcode: BR1 1RY.

The Gospel Thriller!
All Singers Saturday Workshop

Gospel Thriller Workshop

 

Come and sing in the gospel style, learning 'Oceans' by Hillsong, and 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson in harmony!

Saturday 24th October

10:00am–5.00pm

VENUE

St Matthew's Church Wimbledon,
Durham Road,
West Wimbledon,
Greater London
SW20 0DE

 

All singers are welcome

This 'Gospel Thriller' workshop is going to be so much fun!

Join us this October in Wimbledon, South West London, where we'll be singing gospel music arranged for us by Get Gospel, the BBC Gospel Choir of the Year Finalists, and a classic Halloween track, Thriller, by Michael Jackson. Expect to be entertained, challenged and enthused by Jim's excellent teaching. I know he is particularly looking forward to this one!

You can listen to 'Oceans' being sung in a gospel style here!

Both songs will be taught in three or four part harmony, and in case you're concerned, there won't be any dance moves!

We're very pleased to announce that members of Get Gospel will be joining us on the day to sing live (perhaps take part?) and offer tips for singing in the gospel style. Plus, Jim will make a recording of our singing at the end of the day for you to enjoy as a personal souvenir.

TICKETS

Adults £35
Children £20 (under 15)

Feedback from our most recent summer Beach Boys workshop:

Thanks Jim. The recording is really great. I had such a good day. I was with Rock choir in Dorking until I moved to Somerset in October last year so do very little singing now. I miss it, and your teaching was brilliant and very inspirational. Put me down for the next one. Can't wait. Thank you for a brilliant day. Sue Miller x
Thanks Jim, a thoroughly enjoyable day. Can't wait for the next one! Rachel Haig
Yes I totally loved it too and so good to get 4 songs for the price of 1 in the medley - looking forward to the gospel! Alison Dawson

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • You'll receive musical scores in advance for the songs.
  • Jim will be teaching Oceans and Thriller. They will be arranged in three or four-part harmony (SAT or 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
  • During the day our guests, Get Gospel, will arrive to sing and host a Q&A about singing gospel and their experience on Songs of Praise.
  • Jim will make available a live recording from the day that will be emailed to you after the workshop (for personal use only).

 

Get Gospel BBC Songs of Praise Jim Hawkins Pianist
Get Gospel performing on BBC Songs of Praise with our Jim accompanying them on piano!

TIMINGS

Doors open at 10am and welcome refreshments

10:30-13:30 Session 1: Gospel Music, Oceans, incl. Get Gospel appearance and a short break

13:30-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-17:00 Session 2: Thriller, incl. recording the songs we've learned from the day!

Travel info

St Matthew's Church is within easy walking distance of Raynes Park railway station, which is on the main line from Waterloo via Wimbledon. There are also good bus links from Wimbledon. If you require parking under special circumstances, please contact us so that we can try to arrange that for you. Please check TFL for the best public transport routes for you to the venue. Postcode: SW20 0DE.

Beach Boys Workshop Day – a real treat

Fab Feedback

Thank you so much - amazing day and I feel very proud of what we achieved with your excellent teaching
Will definitely be looking out for the next one!

- Karen Bond

Thank you for a great day on Saturday - a great Beach Boys fan in my youth! so enjoyed every minute of the day.
Looking forward to a gospel day later in the year.

- Gaynor Chick

Thanks so much Jim Hawkins for an awesome day of Beach Boys harmonies. I absolutely loved every second of it. They are geniuses and so are you  😉

- Emma Tracey

What a fabulous day! Adore Beach Boys music, such a thrill to sing those harmonies. Thanks Jim for best ever Workshop!

- Chris Hill

Thank you and very well done!

It is was hot, hot day for our summer workshop this year, which seemed very appropriate for the Beach Boys songs! Nearly 90 people attended the uniquely beautiful Normansfield Theatre in Teddington to learn a Beach Boys medley of  “I Get Around”, “In My Room”, “California Girls” and “Fun, Fun, Fun”, which they then sang with the band.  After a rest and lunch outside on the grass, the afternoon was spent singing “God Only Knows”, such a beautiful song, which you don't see the likes of these days.  Jim went on to record this... listen below! It's was a bit of a quick recording, but, for a few hours of work, I think it's a brilliant effort!

A quick message from Jim

Thank you to all those who attended and helped at the Beach Boys themed workshop on Saturday 8th August 2015. I hope you enjoyed learning the songs as much as I did teaching them with you and I must tell you how impressed I am with how much we managed to get through!

A special congratulations to all those who were new to score reading and learning in this way, you did a fantastic job! Well done for sticking at it, it's the only way to get to grips with reading the dots!

Next Workshop

Our next theme will be Gospel songs, date to be confirmed, but we're looking at the end of October.  Please sign up to our mailing list in the footer below to be first to hear the details and book your place!

Jim came away inspired by the whole day and has been bursting with ideas about future workshops. (Remember his remark... "Just imagine what we could do with a few days together!"...) Watch this space.

Workshop photos

 

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.

Games Maker Choir Recording & Production

Games Maker Choir 2015

Games Maker Choir Rehearsal

Jim helped produce the Games Maker Choir show-reel below. We recorded the vocals for three tracks at Abbey Road Studios in February 2015 and mixed them here at Chocolate Box Studios.

The Games Maker choir members are all Games Makers from the London 2012 Olympics and they often sing at high profile sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup in 2015. You can read more about their group here.

Bromley Rock Choir Summer Concert

You are warmly invited to join the lovely Bromley Rock Choir for a great night of singing and fun on Saturday 5th July.

Bromley Rock Choir Concert Poster 5th July 2014

We are proud to announce that Bromley Rock Choir will be performing more than 20 feel-good songs at St Mark’s Church in Biggin Hill. We promise you a highly enjoyable evening for all the family, compered by Jim, so you can expect a few fun surprises too.

Tickets are limited so buy yours today!

Simply select your ticket type, either adult or child, and add to cart. This will open the Paypal shopping basket. To then add another ticket type, click “Continue shopping” choose the other ticket type on this page and “add to cart” again. You will then see both items in your Paypal basket and you can change quantities there. At that stage you may choose whether to pay with a Paypal account or just be entering your card details using the “Check out” option.

You will receive a confirmation email from Paypal and then we will send you an e-ticket to print for the evening to your email address.

The venue:

St. Mark’s Church, Biggin Hill

10 Church Road
Biggin Hill
Westerham
Kent TN16 3LB

Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you on the night!

Thank you.

 

Important information about Jim’s Choir Workshop, Sat 29th March

Jim’s Choir Workshop: Essential information – where, when and what

We are counting down the days now to our big All Singers Saturday and excitement is building! The band has been rehearsing, the arrangements and scores have been written, and our lovely volunteers are ready to help! As of today there are only about seven tickets left, so still chance to buy, if you’re quick. Please share this information with anyone who is coming along to the choir workshop (it has been sent this by email too) and if you like to tweet or post, please use #AllSingersSat to join in the conversation!

 

The venue

St Mark’s Church, St.Mark’s Place, Wimbledon, SW19 7ND.

View Larger Map

The church is in the heart of Wimbledon town centre (not the village) and is easily accessible by public transport.

Transport

Parking can be a challenge, so take advantage of the close proximity of Wimbledon Rail Station and local bus routes, which are no more than 10 minutes walk away. Please plan your journey here.

Parking

You can part at the Centre Court Shopping Centre and there are smaller car parks around, or, if you are lucky, you may find a space in the surrounding side roads, but beware of tricky one-way streets and please double check for any parking restrictions!

Arrival time and registration

Please arrive from 9:45am. Walk to the front entrance of the church and you’ll be greeted by the team who will help you sign in. Help yourself to refreshments available and please make use of the facilities.

Resources

Participants will be e-mailed musical resources on Thursday 27th March, which you can print and bring with you if you wish to have a score on the day. Otherwise Jim will be teaching by rote to bring everyone nicely together!

The choir workshop schedule

10am – Vocal warm up

10:30am – “If I Fell”

11:30am – 10 minute break

11:40am – “Because”

12:40pm – Lunch – please bring your own food or wander through Wimbledon Town Centre as there is a wide variety of places to eat and enjoy lunchtime.

1:40pm – “Easy Feeling”

2:45pm – “Hotel California”

4pm – Performance with our live band

5pm – 6pm – Sing-a-long

6pm – End of day