‘Always’, the debut single by Suffolk community choir Pop Chorus raising money for Ipswich-based charity St Elizabeth Hospice, entered the official UK singles download chart at number 65 last Friday (24th November).
Recorded with over 130 singers, the song was composed by writer David Simon using words from hospice patients about what the hospice means to them, and produced by ex-PWL hit-making legend, Ian Curnow.
It has taken on a life of its own during its first week of release, resonating emotionally with people far and wide, being heavily supported by BBC Radio Suffolk, EADT and Ipswich Star, played by teachers for school children to spark discussion, inspiring beautiful choreography in rehearsals by the Suffolk Academy of Dance and Performing Arts, and finding itself downloaded in over 40 countries.
Choir Director, Yula Andrews, said: “We’re amazed and proud to have done so well in the download charts. We held our own with both the song and EP in Amazon’s Top 10 all week, even peaking at number 2, but were always up against the fanbases and airplay of national artists in the main charts. It’s been lovely ending up sandwiched between Ed Sheeran and Craig David – and a tremendous achievement for a charity song by an unknown amateur community choir; testament to the enthusiasm of choir members, the power of social media and local support. We really punched above our weight! It’s a great song that deserves to be heard.”
Adrian Rawlinson, head of communications at St Elizabeth Hospice commented. “We’re so happy with how the single has done, and look forward to it continuing to spread its message in the run up to Christmas.”
Pop Chorus was founded by professional singer and vocal coach Yula Andrews in 2012, since which it’s grown to almost 250 members across 5 choirs around Ipswich and Felixstowe. The choir are proud community partners with St Elizabeth Hospice, and presented a cheque for over £5,000 to charity Chief Executive Mark Millar at their sell-out concert at the Ipswich Corn Exchange in July. The hospice provides care for over 2000 people with progressive and terminal illnesses every year in East Suffolk and South Norfolk. Care is given wherever it is needed, primarily at home but also in the community and at the hospice. The services are provided free of charge but the independent charity last year had running costs of £10.5 million with only £2 million of that coming from the NHS.
‘Always’ is available to download or stream from iTunes, Amazon and Spotify with profits going to the charity, or together with 3 other tracks on a limited-edition EP, also available as a CD from St Elizabeth Hospice shops, several other local retailers listed on our website and directly from choir members, with a percentage of proceeds going to the charity.