Singers join composer Sir Karl Jenkins for massed virtual performance of ‘The Armed Man’

11 June 2020, 09:59 | Updated: 11 June 2020, 10:01

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

We can’t be together physically, but we can still be together musically...

A giant virtual choir project is joining together thousands of singers from across the globe for a massed performance of Sir Karl JenkinsThe Armed Man: A Mass for Peace – and it will all be conducted by the great Welsh composer himself, giving singers the opportunity to work with a choral legend while in lockdown.

The ambitious project will culminate in a show-stopping final event, where virtual choir videos will sit alongside live performance elements, so singers can see each other performing in real-time. The choir will be accompanied by live orchestral footage from the World Orchestra for Peace.

This marks a major anniversary for Sir Karl’s mammoth choral work, which was premiered at Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall to mark the millennium in 2000. The Armed Man should have seen a revival at this year’s event – which unfortunately did not go ahead due to COVID-19.

Read more: The story of Karl Jenkins’ A Mass For Peace >

Zoom rehearsals in full swing
Zoom rehearsals in full swing. Picture: Stay At Home Choir

Rehearsals for The Armed Man are kicking off soon, and places are filling thick and fast.

On top of the live rehearsals, singers have access to a ‘conductor cam’ video of Sir Karl, a Q&A with the composer and a host of professional musicians – previous artists to be involved include The Swingles, The King’s Singers and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

It’s all been organised by The Stay at Home Choir, a musical community of more than 13,000 people who have become known for their vibrant Zoom rehearsals. Since they launched in early March, thousands of singers from 64 countries around the world have come together to rehearse their parts (in a ‘mute and sing’ format).

Their performance of Sir James MacMillan’s O Radiant Dawn involved singers from 54 countries around the world, and their most recent video release, ‘And So It Goes’, recorded alongside the brilliant King’s Singers, has garnered more than 450,000 views (watch below).

The final performance of selected movements from The Armed Man is planned to stream at the end of August via YouTube Live.

To sign up to take part, head to www.stayathomechoir.com.