11,000 voices sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ in heartwarming finale to Gareth Malone’s lockdown choir

31 July 2020, 11:05 | Updated: 31 July 2020, 12:21

Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra - You Are My Sunshine

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

With no choir rehearsals to look forward to yet, this is a beautiful reminder of the joy singing in a group can bring.

Throughout lockdown, Gareth Malone – Britain’s favourite choirmaster, as we all know him – has been giving amateur singers the chance to be together in music once more.

With choir rehearsals cancelled and the safety of singing in a group still surrounded by question marks, Malone’s chorus has offered singers and music-lovers a new way to use their voices, when times are hard.

But today, the Great British Home Chorus (GBHC) comes to an end. And the final video, a virtual rendition of Johnny Cash’s ‘You Are My Sunshine’ which premieres at 11am on 31 July (watch above), is just gorgeous.

With accompaniment by members of the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra, 11,000 voices from across the country sing together from their bedrooms, living rooms and officers.

Many are joined by their little ones, loved ones and friends of the furrier, four-legged variety.

Read more: Gareth Malone unites self-isolating singers in Home Chorus >

Gareth Malone hosts virtual at-home choir during lockdown
Gareth Malone hosts virtual at-home choir during lockdown. Picture: Decca

“Singing with the GBHC stirred emotions and reminds us to look forward even in extraordinary times,” one of the singers said after the final performance.

People up and down the country have joined Gareth Malone every weekday evening to find community in song, and keep spirits lifted.

It’s been a regular appointment to make music, and see a few familiar faces, including our very own Alan Titchmarsh and Charlotte Hawkins, who dropped in for a special Classic FM episode.

One singer said of the series: “What you’ve done here, Decca and Gareth and the LSO, is a magical thing in a world where we’re not encouraged to sing live, you’ve kept the spark of singing alive.”

All profits from the sale of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ will go to NHS Charities Together.