With its reputation for a sublime sound and a challenging repertoire, The Renaissance Choir has tirelessly supported the Rowans Hospice Charity over the years with performances at Portsmouth Cathedral. As well as spreading festive joy in December 2019, singing alongside the Cathedral Choir for the Charity’s annual Christmas Concert by Candlelight, it raised over £3,600 for Rowans Hospice.

Sadly, with the ongoing effects of COVID-19, rising transmission rates and much tighter restrictions, Christmas will be very different this year to what we have all been used to. Helping to spread some festive joy, the Charity is delighted that The Renaissance Choir was able to record some festive treats to add to their Christmas Message.

Simon O’Hea, Chair and Publicity Manager for The Renaissance Choir said, “We were expecting to support the Rowans Hospice by performing at its annual ‘Christmas Concert by Candlelight’ in Portsmouth Cathedral again this year. Whilst lockdown prevented us from meeting up, the Choir is an incredibly resourceful group and finding a solution was paramount to us all. Keeping to government rules, the Choir recorded the carols in the Church of the Holy Spirit in Southsea over a three-week period, wearing face masks and keeping 2m apart. Despite these limitations we feel the sound quality was impressive, aided by the fact that we recorded and mixed these performances professionally. The ‘impossible’ took a little longer than expected, but we did it, we still made the impossible, possible.”

Ruth White, Chief Executive of the Rowans Hospice Charity said, “Our hope is that as we all come to the end of a really challenging year, our short film and Christmas Message featuring The Renaissance Choir, in place of our annual Light Up A Life service and Carols by Candlelight, will help bring some much-needed festive joy and positivity to us all.”

Due to COVID-19, the Charity continues to face extremely challenging times, experiencing unprecedented financial difficulties; and with donations in sharp decline is now facing a challenge like no other.

Each year the Charity supports more than 10,000 people and relies heavily on the generosity of the local community to raise circa 90% of the £7.5 million that is needed every year. Hospices are an essential service and depend on the generosity of the local community to help deliver this specialist end of life care.

Rowans Hospice Charity is encouraging the local community to show their support and appreciation of The Renaissance Choir’s performance by donating to the Charity’s COVID-19 Appeal: www.rowanshospice.co.uk/appeal

The Renaissance Choir, led by conductor Peter Gambie and accompanied by Malcolm Keeler on the organ, will be performing a wide selection of Christmas music. It will be premiered on Tuesday 22 December at 7.30pm on its YouTube channel.

Read more about next Tuesday’s event (22 December).